Russian Troop Buildup at Ukrainian Border Raises Watch Level to ‘Potential Imminent Crisis’; A Test for Biden?

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Tensions are increasing at the eastern border of Ukraine with Russia according to a Tuesday report in The New York Times. Russian troops had massed at the border ostensibly for training exercises. The military exercises ended on March 23 and not only did the existing troops remain, but they were joined by as many as 4,000 more.

Last week, the sides traded fire for nearly a day, leaving four Ukrainian troops dead and one wounded. The battle occurred in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine and ended a ceasefire which had been in place since last July. The Times notes that over the last week, “the U.S. military’s European Command raised its watch level from possible crisis to potential imminent crisis — the highest level — in response to the deployment of the additional Russian troops.”

The article said the fighting had occurred across the “so-called Line of Contact, a roughly 250-mile-long barricade of trenches and fortifications.”

According to the report:

Ukrainian and the Russian-backed separatist forces have settled into trenches that have barely moved over the seven years since fighting erupted in 2014.

European monitors have spotted new weaponry on the Russian-backed side in recent weeks. Artillery fire has become more frequent. And Russian negotiators have warned of a breakdown in peace talks that have been dragging on for years.

So, what’s happening here? Is Putin testing the new American president or does he have something more serious in mind?

We remember Putin’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 all too well. When the Ukrainian president asked then-President Obama for military assistance, he was refused. Instead, the Ukrainian troops received supplies.

In a Washington Post op-ed at the time, the late conservative commentator Charles Krauthammer wrote: “Why did we deny Ukraine weapons? Because in the Barack Obama-John Kerry worldview, arming the victim might be taken as a provocation. This kind of mind-bending illogic has marked the administration’s response to the whole Crimea affair.”

Military officials told the Times that “Putin has not been afraid to use military exercises near Ukraine’s borders or deployments of troops to send messages to both Kyiv and the West.”

Frederick B. Hodges, a former top U.S. Army commander in Europe said, “This could be posturing, but the Kremlin is testing the new administration.” Hodges said Putin “wants to keep the country as destabilized as possible.”

Shortly after taking office, President Biden spoke to Putin and said he was committed to “Ukrainian sovereignty.” However, Biden has not spoken to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky yet. Perhaps Putin is trying to determine how committed Biden really is to Ukraine.

The Times does report that National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan spoke to one of Zelensky’s top advisers, Andriy Yermak, this week. Biden called in the heavy hitters.

Putin knows that Biden is weak. The whole world knows it. During a recent interview, ABC’s George Stephanopoulos asked Biden if he thought Putin was a killer. He replied, “Uh-huh. I do.”

Putin took swift action. He immediately recalled Russian Ambassador Anatoly Antonov. He then humiliated Biden during an interview on Russian TV by challenging him to a live streamed debate, which Biden refused saying he was “too busy.”

Putin wasn’t afraid of Biden when he humiliated him during a state visit to Russia in 2011 (See “Report: White House Stenographer on Biden’s 2011 Trip to Russia, Reveals How Putin Humiliated the Then-VP ‘for Sport’.)

And he’s certainly not afraid of him now. The fallout from Biden’s “tough guy moment” has only just begun.

Kamala Is Asked If She Plans to Visit the Border; She Responds with … Laughter?

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As the situation at the border reaches crisis levels, neither President Joe Biden nor Vice President Kamala Harris have felt the necessity of traveling there to assess conditions. Perhaps doing so would be an admission that the crisis exists.

Whatever the reason, in the video below, Harris reacted rather strangely when a reporter asked her if she had plans to visit the border.

Initially, she appeared to be stunned by the question. Collecting herself, she replied, Uh … Um … Not today.” This was followed by laughter. Turning serious, she said, “I have before and I’m sure I will again. Yeah.”

I don’t think the Vice President actually finds the growing disaster funny. Her cackle, in my opinion, is a defense mechanism. When she is nervous, when she wants to deflect from an uncomfortable topic, she laughs. The reporter had obviously hit a nerve.

She has much to be defensive about. Former President Donald Trump had put in place smart policies to bring the situation under control and to keep it that way. This mess belongs to Biden and Harris. Surprisingly, many Democrats are now blaming them for the disaster that is unfolding before Americans’ eyes. Reports over the weekend from The Washington Post and CNN were very critical of the Biden Administration.

On Monday, Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas sent a letter to Biden. Cruz and 14 of his senate colleagues will be traveling to the border to assess conditions and had asked the administration to grant press access to the reporters who will be joining them. This request was denied. Here are several excerpts from the letter:

There is a crisis at our southern border caused by your administration’s radical immigration policies. In 2019, former Obama DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson said, “I know that 1,000 [apprehensions per day] overwhelms the system and I cannot begin to imagine what 4,000 a day looks like.” But in response to your administration’s policies and rhetoric promising exceedingly lax enforcement and a path to citizenship for every illegal alien, Border Patrol agents are reportedly apprehending 4,500 to 6,000 illegal aliens per day.

Despite your administration’s refusal to admit that this is a crisis, the American people are beginning to understand the gravity of the situation.

But it is not enough for members of the Senate to see what is happening—the American people must see. That is why I requested that members of the media be allowed to join us. But your administration clearly and emphatically refused to offer press access. This is outrageous and hypocritical.

Denying the press the ability to observe, film, and report on the conditions at the border is not openness or transparency — it is hiding the truth from the American people. The press and the American people deserve more than denials and excuses from a podium.

 

On Monday, Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar, whose district sits on the U.S./Mexico border, published photos of a packed migrant facility in Donna, Texas.

Cuellar’s photos can be viewed here.

Top NATO Scientist Convicted of Spying for China

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The conviction of top NATO scientist Tarmo Kõuts in Estonia last week gives us an indication of just how far China’s tendrils reach.

Kõuts, highly respected for his work at the Tallinn Technical University’s Maritime Institute, a NATO facility which specializes in maritime and submarine research, was recruited as a spy by Chinese military intelligence (specifically China’s Intelligence Bureau of the Joint Staff Department of the Central Military Commission) in 2018, according to a report in The Daily Beast.

Aleksander Toots, the deputy director of Estonia’s counterintelligence service (KAPO) and the Baltic country’s top counterintelligence official, told the Daily Beast, that Kõuts and a colleague, who will be tried separately, were arrested on September 9, 2020. News of this arrest received no attention by the Estonian media, he noted.

The report said “Kõuts pleaded guilty to conducting intelligence activities against the Republic of Estonia on behalf of a foreign state. The charges were one stop short of treason. He was sentenced to three years in prison. … Kõuts was recruited on Chinese territory.”

Toots believes “he was motivated by traditional human weaknesses, such as money and need of recognition.”

According to Toots, “Kõuts received cash payments from his Chinese handlers as well as paid trips to various Asian countries, with luxury accommodations and dinners at Michelin star restaurants. The intelligence operatives handling him were operating under cover of a think tank. Inna Ombler, the prosecutor handling the case confirmed that Kõuts earned €17,000 — a little over $20,000 — for his espionage, which the Estonian government has since seized from him.”

Kõuts held both “a state secret permit as well as NATO security clearance dating back” to 2006 when he “became directly involved in the national defense sector,” Toots told the Daily Beast.

He added, “That he had such security clearances was one of the reasons we decided to put a stop to his collaboration [with the Chinese] so early.”

The report said, “His role at the NATO center gave Kõuts direct access to Estonia’s and NATO’s confidential military intelligence. In the three years Kõuts worked for Chinese military intelligence, confined his espionage to observations and anecdotes about his top-level work but did not, according to Toots, yet pass on any confidential military information.”

It’s odd that throughout three years of spying for the Chinese, Kõuts never provided them with any “state or NATO secrets.”

Toots explained that, had Kõuts done so, he would have been charged with treason, which carries a far stricter sentence.

KAPO has developed a reputation for catching insiders spying for Russia. The Daily Beast writes that “the biggest espionage breach NATO ever had was an Estonian one. … In 2008, KAPO arrested Herman Simm, the head of the Ministry of Defense’s Security Department. Simm’s job was to coordinate the protection of state secrets, issue security clearances and act as a liaison between the Estonian Ministry of Defense and NATO. He’d been working for Russia’s foreign intelligence service, the SVR, for the entirety of his tenure. Simm was sentenced to twelve and a half years imprisonment and he additionally needed to pay €1.3 million—$1.8 million in today’s dollar value—in damages. … Since that scandal, Estonia has become one of the foremost Russian spy-catchers.”

Few (outside of the Biden Administration) would question the fact that China poses the greatest threat to global security. KAPO recognizes the new world order and has “raised the alarm about the rising threat of Chinese espionage.”

Estonia’s Foreign Intelligence Service, Välisluureamet, issued an advisory to citizens traveling to China, cautioning them that they would be “susceptible to influence operations and recruitment.” Individuals most likely to be targeted included “politicians, public servants and scientists who hold political or defense-related clearances.”

An annual report released by the agency stated “To this end, Chinese special services may use various methods and pretexts, such as establishing first contact or job offers over the internet. At home, Chinese special services can operate almost risk-free.” The assessment also said the Chinese are especially looking for “decisions on global issues, be it the Arctic, climate or trade.”

The recent spate of arrests in the U.S. of academics from prestigious universities such as Harvard tells us this threat is for real. The Chinese as I wrote in a weekend post, are power hungry, determined, disciplined, patient and ruthless. As we witnessed repeatedly throughout last week’s U.S./China talks, the Chinese have also become more brazen since the departure of former President Donald Trump from the White House. Well aware that they face a far weaker foe in the Biden Administration, they’ve grown bolder in their criticism of the U.S. and more unwilling to conform to the “rules-based international order” which U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken had hoped they might adopt.

Kõuts is but a grain of sand compared to the vast universe of men and women China might tap to obtain information they can leverage in their quest for power.

Government agencies, universities, and corporations of even the most seemingly insignificant countries must remain mindful of the threat this country poses and actively monitor their organizations for signs of potential espionage activity just as we might scan our computers for evidence of a virus.

No one can say they haven’t been warned.

Top Chinese Diplomat Who Humiliated Blinken in Alaska Treated Mike Pompeo Far Differently [Photos, Video]

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In two previous posts, here and here, I discussed the failure of the meeting between top U.S. and Chinese diplomats held in Anchorage, Alaska last week. Specifically, it was made immediately and abundantly clear that Chinese Director of the Office of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs Yang Jiechi had neither fear, nor respect, for the U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

The situation with former President Donald Trump’s Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was 180 degrees different. In the photographs below, the same Yang who displayed such contempt for Blinken and to the United States of America, is shown smiling and bowing before Pompeo.

At one point during the contentious talks, the press was inexplicably dismissed from the room. This move was not lost on the combative Yang, who immediately pounced on his American counterpart. In the clip below, Yang asks Blinken, “Why is the U.S. afraid of the presence of reporters?  You don’t need to be afraid of the presence of reporters, do you? Didn’t you believe in democracy? You should give China the right to make two rounds of speeches just as the United States did. History will prove that if you use cutthroat competition to suppress China, you will be the one to suffer in the end.”

Yang was right. Unlike many Republicans who fold in the face of the left’s attempts at suppression, Yang was not about to let this slide. We would do well to take notice.

It must have stunned Biden officials to find that the obvious tactics they employ so liberally back in Washington were instantly detected by the Chinese.

Yang’s remarks were not reported by the U.S. media. The National Pulse’s Raheem Kassam posted a clip he’d found on China’s state-run media.

Here is a report of the incident from The South China Morning Post. (Emphasis added.)

“Because, Mr Secretary and NSA Sullivan, you have delivered some quite different opening remarks, mine will be slightly different as well,” Yang said.
The meeting was supposed to kick off with two minutes for opening remarks, agreed to by both sides. But Blinken and Sullivan spoke for about 10 minutes.

The Chinese delegation did not take well to Blinken and Sullivan’s opening salvo and hit back with a lengthy address almost 20 minutes long.

Yang’s address was so long he joked it was a test for the interpreter, to which Blinken countered that the interpreter should get a pay rise.

“I think we thought too well of the US. We thought the US side would follow the necessary diplomatic protocols. So for China it was necessary that we make our position clear,” Yang said at one point.

A tussle over the presence of journalists then ensued, turning what is usually a few minutes of opening remarks into an event lasting over an hour, according to press pool reports.

Handlers started to usher journalists out when Yang finished speaking but Blinken and Sullivan waved them back in to say more.

Blinken said he took from the Chinese comments satisfaction that the US was back and engaging in the world, but also deep concern. The United States “is not perfect” but has throughout its history dealt with its challenges openly, he said.

Sullivan added that America’s “secret sauce” was that it had looked hard at its own shortcomings and then worked to improve.

Once Blinken and Sullivan finished their comments, handlers again ushered reporters out but Yang told the press to “wait”, and raised a finger of admonishment. The Chinese diplomat accused the Americans of speaking to them in a condescending tone. He said the efforts to nudge the press out of the room was an example of how the US did not support democracy.

Afterwards, a senior US official speaking on background also accused the Chinese side of “violating protocol”, arriving intent on grandstanding and focusing on theatrics.

The public sparring followed days of posturing from the two countries, with Washington announcing this week it was imposing sanctions against Chinese officials because of Beijing’s overhaul of Hong Kong’s electoral system.

In the last high-level meeting between China and the US, occurring during the Trump administration in June last year, then-secretary of state Mike Pompeo spoke with Yang behind closed doors in Hawaii for around seven hours without showing the back and forth seen in Anchorage on Thursday.

Here are some of the replies from Twitter users to Kassam’s post:

  • Dems discover that manipulating other governments to sell their narrative is not as easy as manipulating our media to do the same.
  • Sounds like a man who knows he’s on the winning side.
  • People don’t realize how bad things are truly because of all the distractions in the media but this is very concerning what’s playing out between the US and China.
  • China says it will win at cut-throat competition. Is that a threat or challenge? A Great America would accept this challenge.
  • Can you imagine if Trump was in the room?
  • Somewhat of a disaster for us. Maybe Biden fell on purpose to take focus off the meeting.
  • Will the morons in this admin finally wake up when a delegate from China confronts them? What’s the over/under?
  • America has never been as weak as they are now against China & the Chinese know it.
  • Human Rights violator China instantly dog walking America under weak Biden Admin thanks to our very own vilifying our country everyday. Thanks big Media. Thanks big Tech. Thanks big Govt. Thanks big Corporations. Thanks Hollywood. Thanks woke liberal soldiers. Thank you.
  • The once country of might is slipping before are eyes.
  • Blinken and his team had initiated exchange by arrogant and out-of-protocol public hectoring of Chinese diplomats. It was irresponsible and invited retaliation. US diplomats could accomplish more by being, uh, diplomatic.
  • The Chinese pulled off a huge beat down on Winken and Blinken.
  • It’s embarrassing and disturbing at the same time.
  • The US Secretary of State started off by basically insulting China in front of reporters. This is our chief diplomat?
  • This is embarrassing AF. What the hell have liberals done to this country?
  • I’ve never felt embarrassed of how my country handled itself on the world stage until the Biden admin.
  • Wow brutal, We need new leadership… like yesterday!
  • They would not have done that to Mike Pompeo or he would have walked out.
  • Never in a million years would they have spoken to @mikepompeo like that. Weakness invites aggression.
  • This is getting real folks!
  • With this meeting, China just confirmed that they can now roll through Taiwan with no resistance from an impotent American leadership.
  • Utterly owned.
  • Sec of state and his team tried to get the press to bounce? Why, cause they didn’t want to be on film kneeling like bitches?
  • You had a good run America.

Chinese Official: ‘Trend that the East is rising while the West is declining has become very obvious’

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The former CCP leader of the Xinjiang region of China, Zhang Chunxian, spoke to a group of deputies from the National People’s Congress in Hubei earlier this month where he touted the country’s “extraordinary accomplishments” and said that 2020 had been a “watershed year.” He said, “Since no country could escape the major test of the pandemic last year, this trend that the East is rising while the West is declining has become very obvious,according to the South China Morning Post. He added that, “The phenomenon of China advancing and the US retreating has also been conspicuous.”

Conspicuous?

Zhang even cited a report from the French media which said the Chinese would soon have a higher average life expectancy than the U.S. “concluding that China’s rise was unstoppable.”

The sentiment among the Chinese of an ascendant China and a waning West has become quite prevalent among CCP leadership and nowhere was that more apparent than during the talks with U.S. diplomats this week in Alaska. In fact, one gets the distinct impression that the Chinese no longer feel equal to the U.S., but superior.

Separately, Guo Shengkun, party secretary of the Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission, told a group, “Chinese of all ethnic groups experienced the extraordinary accomplishments achieved by our party, the country and the public [last year]. This was especially seen in the striking contrast of the order in the East and chaos in the West, the rise of the East and decline of the West, and the ascendancy of China and fall of the U.S.”

The SCMP also cited an advisor to CCP leaders, Zheng Yongnian, who said “the US was ‘still developing but at a slower pace’ to other countries.”

Zheng did acknowledge that “the US was far ahead of other nations in some areas. ‘In areas like the economy, military, science and technology – and innovation – no other country can match it.” He also noted that “differences between the US and China were deeply rooted, and Beijing needed to ‘discard its unrealistic ideas and learn to live with the US.'”

He added that, “Realistically, China has risen to the point where it is regarded as a real threat by the US. The fact is, the US cannot contain China’s rise – but China cannot replace the US.”

The Chinese, at least among loyal members of the CCP, have a deep sense of national pride. They’ve clearly adopted a “China First” policy as every nation should.

China focuses intensely upon measurable economic goals. At the recently concluded U.S./China talks held in Alaska, Chinese Director of the Office of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs Yang Jiechi told the U.S. delegation that China had just “we adopted the outline for the 14th five-year economic and social development plan and the long-range objectives through the year 2035. … By the year 2035 China will surely achieve basic modernization. And by the year 2050, China will achieve full modernization.”

“China has made decisive achievements and important strategic gains in fighting COVID-19, and we have achieved a full victory in ending absolute poverty in China. China’s per-capita GDP is only one-fifth of that of the United States, but we have managed to end absolute poverty for all people in China. And we hope that other countries, especially the advanced countries, will make similar efforts in this regard,” Yang said.

They also focus intensely on their military goals which they track with the same precision as their economic objectives. According to an annual  Department of Defense report to Congress released in September, “China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has already surpassed the U.S. in missile development and its number of warships and air defense systems under the Chinese Communist Party’s plan to achieve dominance by 2049.”

The ultimate goal of the People’s Republic of China, or PRC, is to “develop a military by mid-Century that is equal to — or in some cases superior to — the U.S. military, or that of any other great power that the PRC views as a threat,” reports Military.com.

China is already ahead of the United States in certain areas” essential to its overall aim of progressing from homeland and periphery defense to global power projection.

The PRC has the largest navy in the world, with an overall battle force of approximately 350 ships and submarines, including over 130 major surface combatants.

That’s compared to the U.S. Navy’s current battle force of 295 ships.

The PRC has more than 1,250 ground-launched ballistic missiles (GLBMs) and ground-launched cruise missiles (GLCMs) with ranges between 500 and 5,500 kilometers,” while the U.S. currently fields one type of conventional GLBM with a range of 70 to 300 kilometers and no GLCMs.

In some respects, China is also ahead on integrated air defense systems with a mix of Russian-built and homegrown systems.

Despite the advances, the PLA “remains in a position of inferiority” to the U.S. in overall military strength…

The Military.com article quotes retired Marine officer Chad Sbragia, the deputy assistant secretary of Defense for China, who said, “the report does not claim that China’s military is 10 feet tall,” but the Chinese Communist Party wants it to be, and has the plan and resources to reach that goal.”

Following a report earlier this month that China has allocated “$208.6 billion for military spending for 2022, a 6.8% increase” from 2021 and their concerns over China’s increased aggression in the South China Sea and elsewhere, eight Republican members of the House Armed Services Committee wrote a letter to Biden requesting he “increase next year’s defense budget by three to five percent.”

The lawmakers wrote:

“Years of Budget Control Act (BCA) related defense cuts undermined military readiness, set back efforts to modernize the force, and gave our adversaries the time necessary to gain significant advantages that now jeopardize our military superiority. … The Chinese Communist Party increased its defense spending by over 75 percent in the last decade. If we do nothing, over the next decade, China will fully modernize its military, potentially bringing it into parity with our own.”

The Chinese are power hungry, determined, disciplined, patient and ruthless. Biden Administration officials are power hungry, determined and ruthless, but they are undisciplined and impatient. And they’re starting to resemble the gang that couldn’t shoot straight.

The near instant devolvement into acrimony that occurred between the U.S. and Chinese diplomats in Alaska this week highlighted one unmistakable fact: The Chinese neither respect nor fear the Biden Administration.

Rightly or wrongly, the Chinese related to Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his delegation as if they were convinced they hold the upper hand. Their firm belief that ‘the East is rising while the West is declining’ was unmistakable. Their game plan is to simply stay the course and methodically move toward their goals.

Their unwillingness to make concessions or to yield to the U.S. even the slightest bit, will complicate future relations with the U.S. or may possibly prevent any meaningful dialog at all.

Regarding the tone set by the Chinese during the talks, Michael Pillsbury, a China expert at the Hudson Institute, told The Wall Street Journal, that “the thrust of Mr. Yang’s remarks presages difficult dealings ahead.”

Pillsbury said that “the tone seems to be different. Now China is not just equal to us, they are superior.” He added “the U.S. needs to find more leverage over China.”

And they better find it soon because, as I see it, China is starting to behave like Germany in the 1930s.

 

US/China Talks in Alaska: Chinese Prove They Have Neither Fear Nor Respect for the Biden Administration

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So much for “America is back.”

It has not been a stellar week for Team Biden. After the Russians and the North Koreans showed they neither fear nor respect the Biden Administration, a U.S. delegation, led by Secretary of State Antony Blinken traveled to Alaska for a two-day meeting with their Chinese counterparts.

Team Biden: 0
China: 1
Russia: 1
North Korea: 1

(Source for opening remarks: Nikkei Asia)

Diplomacy went out the window at the first meeting between Biden officials and CCP leaders on Thursday night and did not return. The hostility coming from the Chinese was impossible to miss.

Here are a few of the headlines on reports from major media outlets: “US, China spar in first face-to-face meeting under Biden,”  “US and China trade angry words at high-level Alaska talks, “and US and China publicly rebuke each other in first major talks of Biden era.” They used words like “heated” and “decidedly undiplomatic” to describe the progress of the talks.

Blinken was tougher than I would have expected on the Chinese. In addition to advancing the interests of the United States, Blinken stressed that he wished to “strengthen the rules-based international order which helps countries to resolve issues peacefully. The alternative would be a far more violent and unstable world.”

Basically, he said that China’s actions threaten the rules-based order. He voiced his “deep concerns with actions by China, including in Xinjiang, Hong Kong, Taiwan, cyberattacks on the United States and economic coercion toward our allies. Each of these actions threaten the rules-based order that maintains global stability.”

Then it was time for the Chinese Director of the Office of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs Yang Jiechi to speak. Here are some of the highlights from his opening remarks.

Yang accused the U.S. of  “persuading some countries to launch attacks on China.”

As for “Xinjiang, Tibet and Taiwan, they are an inalienable part of China’s territory. China is firmly opposed to U.S. interference in China’s internal affairs. We have expressed our staunch opposition to such interference, and we will take firm actions in response.”

“On human rights, we hope that the United States will do better on human rights.” Yes, he really said that.

“China has made steady progress in human rights, and the fact is that there are many problems within the United States regarding human rights, which is admitted by the U.S. itself as well. The United States has also said that countries can’t rely on force in today’s world to resolve the challenges we face. And it is a failure to use various means to topple the so-called authoritarian states. And the challenges facing the United States in human rights are deep-seated. They did not just emerge over the past four years, such as Black Lives Matter. It did not come up only recently. So we do hope that for our two countries, it’s important that we manage our respective affairs well instead of deflecting the blame on somebody else in this world.”

But between our two countries we’ve had confrontation in the past, and the result did not serve the United States well.

On cyberattacks, let me say that whether it’s the ability to launch cyberattacks or the technologies that could be deployed, the United States is the champion in this regard. You can’t blame this problem on somebody else.

Yang said, “The United States does not have the qualification to say that it wants to speak to China from a position of strength.” Yang is not wrong. We do need to get our house in order. The rest of the world watches the U.S. The left has spent the last four years shouting racism, so naturally our enemies say we have deep-seated racial problems. Our country hasn’t been this divided since the Civil War and our national debt is now approaching $29 trillion. The Democrats’ agenda will only intensify these issues.

The Chinese didn’t like former President Trump, but they feared him because he held them accountable for their actions. So far, Biden has left the Trump sanctions and tariffs on China in place and I hope that continues. But I can easily see Biden caving in return for empty promises from the CCP.

According to Town Hall, the course of this meeting will determine if and/or when President Joe Biden will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping. That may not be happening for a while. And given his state, I think it’s a good idea to keep Biden away from all world leaders.

 

Biden Calls Putin a Killer During Interview; May Have Caused ‘Irreversible Degradation’ to US/Russian Relationship

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Smart diplomacy?

Or perhaps another Corn Pop moment?

During an interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos on Tuesday, President Joe Biden shifted into his familiar “tough guy” mode.

Stephanopoulos referenced the dubious report from the Director of National Intelligence that had been released earlier in the day. The document stated that Russian President Vladimir Putin had interfered in the 2020 U.S. presidential election by trying to “denigrate you [Biden], support President Trump, undermine our elections, divide our society.” He asked Biden, “What price must he pay?”

“He will pay a price. I, we had a long talk, he and I, when we — I know him relatively well,” replied Biden. “And I — the conversation started off, I said, ‘I know you and you know me. If I establish this occurred, then be prepared.'”

Stephanopoulos noted, “You said you know he doesn’t have a soul.”

The President answered, “I did say that to him, yes. And — and his response was, ‘We understand one another.’ It was– I wasn’t being a wise guy. I was alone with him in his office. And that — that’s how it came about. It was when President Bush had said, ‘I looked in his eyes and saw his soul.'”

Biden continued. “I said, ‘Looked in your eyes and I don’t think you have a soul.’ And looked back and he said, ‘We understand each other.’ Look, most important thing dealing with foreign leaders in my experience, and I’ve dealt with an awful lot of ’em over my career, is just know the other guy. Don’t expect somethin’ that you’re — that — don’t expect him to — or her to — voluntarily appear in the second editions of Profiles in Courage.”

“So you know Vladimir Putin. You think he’s a killer?” asked the ABC host.

“Uh-huh. I do.”

“So what price must he pay?”

Biden responded, “The price he’s gonna pay we’ll — you’ll see shortly. I’m not gonna — there’s — by the way, we oughta be able that ol’ — that trite expression ‘walk and chew gum at the same time,’ there’re places where it’s in our mutual interest to work together.”

“That’s why I renewed the START agreement with him. That occurred while he’s doin’ this. But that’s overwhelmingly in the interest of humanity, that we diminish the prospect of a nuclear exchange. But that and SolarWinds as well. He’s been — they’ve done some mischievous things, to say the least. And so we’re gonna have — I’m not gonna announce what I’m doing, but he’s gonna understand that — .”

Were these comments planned as most questions and answers are for Biden these days or did the President recklessly decide to improvise?

Putin wasted no time in immediately recalling the Russian Ambassador,

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova issued a statement which said the ambassador had “been invited to Moscow for consultations, to determine the prospects of the future relationship with Washington.”

It continued. “The new American administration has been in power for two months, and a symbolic 100-day anniversary is just around the corner, which is an appropriate milestone to try and assess what the Biden team is successful in, and what it’s not.”

The statement acknowledged that relations with the U.S. “are in a difficult state, which Washington has brought to a dead end in recent years. We are interested in preventing their irreversible degradation, if the Americans are aware of the associated risks.”

According to Sputnik News, “Zakharova stressed Moscow’s intention to work out possible ways of improving the relationship that ‘Washington has itself sent into a stalemate in recent years.'”

In the text message below, Russian politician Alexey Pushkov responded to the incident (via RedState):

“The Russian ambassador to Washington has been summoned to Moscow for consultations – in response to Biden’s insulting attack on Putin. This is an exceptional step in diplomacy, the next is the recall of the ambassador and the lowering of the level of diplomatic relations. Moscow is clearly determined to reassess the entire set of relations with the United States.”

Sputnik reported that, in a Wednesday telephone briefing, U.S. State Department Deputy Spokesperson Jalina Porter was asked if the Biden Administration planned to recall the ambassador to Russia. He answered, “We have nothing to comment on that.”

Biden can’t make threats like this and not expect Russia to look after its own interests. As the most powerful country in Europe and a major force across Asia and the Middle East, Russia plays a significant role in world politics. Although Russia has transgressed against us, they are also a partner to us in some key areas. Going after Putin personally like this is virtually guaranteed to upset him and worsen relations.

There’s no issue with retaliation against Putin and Russia, but Biden better have an effective plan in mind that avoids escalation or he risks killing diplomatic ties with a crucial partner.

There’s no doubt that Putin is a dangerous man. But America currently faces a far greater and more powerful threat in Asia that Biden appears to underestimate. If only he would stand up to Xi Jinping and stop making excuses for his abuses and actions.

Is there a reason for that? Mr. President?