In a speech to the House and Senate on Wednesday (April 28), the eve of his 100th day in office, President Joe Biden spoke about his personal relationship with Xi Jinping and noted Xi’s eagerness (deadly earnest) to achieve global dominance.
In contrast to domestic affairs, Biden did not prioritize foreign policy in the first 100 days. When it came to international policy, he made several references to the Chinese Communist Party and Xi Jinping, saying the U.S. must focus on China as “the most important, most critical country in the world.
Biden also mentioned in his speech that he has a personal relationship with Xi, “(Secretary of State) Blinken can tell you that I have spent a lot of time with President Xi Jinping, I have traveled 75,000 miles with him and had 24 hours of private conversations with him. When I called to congratulate him (on the Chinese New Year), we talked for two hours.”
“Xi is very eager (to make the Communist Party of China) the boss of the world, and he and other dictators believe that democracy cannot compete (with dictatorship) in the 21st century because (democracy) takes too long to reach consensus.” Biden said.
Biden added that the United States is competing with the Chinese Communist Party and other countries to win the 21st century and that “we are at an important turning point in history.” In addition, Biden pledged that the United States would maintain a strong military presence in the Indo-Pacific region and promised to promote scientific and technological development and trade. But Biden also made clear that he would not seek conflict with China.
Reuters reported that Biden’s line that drew the loudest applause from the audience that night was, “There’s no reason why wind turbine blades should only be made in Beijing and not in Pittsburgh.”
Voice of America reported that in the hours before his speech, Biden said he had debated and discussed at length with Xi Jinping on the issue of democracy and dictatorship. Biden said Xi was betting that “democracy can’t catch up with dictatorship.”
Biden has expressed such views before. In his first press conference since taking office, he said of Xi that “like Putin, he is one of those people who believes that autocracy is the wave of the future and that democracy can’t work in an increasingly complex world.” Biden stressed at the time that the world now faces “a battle between democracy and dictatorship” and that “we have to prove that democracy works.”