New York Post - 13.03.2020

(Ben Green) #1
New York Post, Friday, March 13, 2020

From the right: Trump’s Now a ‘Wartime’ Prez
President Trump had none of his usual “bombast” in his “somber, meas-
ured speech” Wednesday about the coronavirus outbreak, in which he
suspended travel from Europe and took other “significant” steps,
­observes RealClearPolitics’ Philip Wegmann. That marks a real pivot to
“a ‘wartime’ footing,” with Trump himself “a wartime president.” Just a
couple of weeks ago, he tweeted that the virus was “very much under
control in the USA.” Until now, he has faced mostly “man-made challen-
ges,” with political “opposition that could be belittled and battled
against.” He can’t do the same with a virus: “Pathogens are unlike parti-
sans” — and his “response will define his presidency.”

Health beat: Travel Ban ‘Makes Sense’
Travel bans can “retard the advance of pandemics,” notes James Car-
afano at, so Trump’s decision to ban most European travel-
ers for 30 days is a “prudent” move. “Simply put, it is hard to empty the
bathtub while the water’s running.” While “we’re voluntarily disrupting
our day-to-day lives to contain the disease” and “drain the tub,” it makes
“no sense to risk importing more contagion from abroad.” America’s
­restrictions against travel from China “significantly delayed the arrival of
the disease here,” letting us weather “the bulk of the flu season without a
serious outbreak.” European nations, by contrast, “imposed no travel
bans” against China travelers and “wound up importing a lot of sick peo-
ple.” Now, “Italy, with its significant migrant Chinese population, has
been hit particularly hard.”

2020 Watch: How Don Can Beat Joe
President Trump, who will probably face Joe Biden in November, “starts
behind” in the race, with low poll numbers and a high disapproval rating.
He can change that — but only, Henry Olsen argues at The Washington
Post, if he “tackles Biden’s biggest weakness: himself.” While “Trump is
not one to pull punches against his adversaries,” his attacks on Hunter
Biden over the Burisma scandal may “backfire.” Instead, Trump should
hold “as many public events as possible,” emphasizing that Biden isn’t “up
to the demands of a campaign,” let alone the presidency. If he does that, he
will be “focusing on the campaign’s core question: Who is fit to do the
job?” Democrats think they have dodged a bullet by picking Biden over
Bernie Sanders, but Trump can make them “rue that decision.”

Foreign desk: Filipino’s Extended Presidency
Foes of Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte — who has faced “blistering
criticism of his autocratic tendencies” yet boasts record popularity —
shouldn’t assume he will “quietly leave office”
when his term ends in two years, even though his
country bans re-elections, warns Sheila Coronel at
Foreign Affairs. Instead, Duterte is “making every
effort to consolidate his base” and “handpick a suc-
cessor so he can continue to exert influence and
exercise power” when he is out. He has moved, for
example, to “muzzle” critics, including the Catholic
Church, and to give himself “a near monopoly” on
power. Though “fickle” Filipinos may turn on him
when he is gone, for now, he has tapped into the
public’s eagerness to “trade rights and freedoms”
for a sense of “safety and stability.” That’s “a reality
with which his critics will have to reckon.”

Iconoclast: Coronavirus? Bring It On!

At The Washington Examiner, Utah small-business owner Daryl Austin
reports that his “young family of six isn’t dreading” coronavirus at all.
Rather, they all “just want to get it over with.” They are tired of over-
blown headlines that read like “jump-scare scenes in a horror film.” The
New York Times reports that the death rate from coronavirus is just 0.4
percent, except in China’s Hubei province, where the disease originated.
NPR notes that “more than 80 percent of coronavirus infections are
pretty mild” and “no more severe than the common cold.” Austin is most
“flabbergasted by the way so many overreact to a virus that kills so few.”
But if coronavirus is going to hit his family, he hopes “it happens sooner
rather than later,” so they can get it over with.
— Compiled by The Post Editorial Board

Rodrigo Duterte


i Jinping and his Communist
cronies should celebrate Joe
Biden’s recent turnaround at
the ballot box, maybe with a
(masked) ball. Joe and Hunter
Biden embody the globalism that
empowered a China bent on sur-
passing the United States.
Start with Hunter’s shenani-
gans. In 2017, the illustrious vice-
presidential son was granted what
Chinese commentators described
as a Xianchai, a sinecure reserved
for offspring of important offi-
cials, at BHR Partners. BHR is a
$20 billion fund with sharehold-
ers that include China Life, China
Development Bank and other
state-owned entities. China’s
State Council calls on BHR to find
deals abroad by hiring foreigners
with political connections.
Hunter may have been the
wrong choice, though, consider-
ing his knack for attracting pub-
licity and his dealings with Ye Ji-
anming, a former energy CEO
now jailed by Beijing for corrup-
tion. Jianming presented Hunter
a large diamond — and the presi-
dent of Chad a $2 million bribe.
Under media scrutiny, young
Biden announced his resig-
nation from BHR in Octo-
ber 2019, though the Chi-
nese public records still list
him as an officer. This all
happened, he explains, after
his father left office. In China,
though, there is a widespread be-
lief that officials are even more in-
fluential in retirement.
Not that Papa Biden hasn’t been
helpful to Junior in office. In 2013,
Hunter’s business partner Jonat-
han Li and his father sat down for
a meeting. Hunter calls such en-
counters “social visits,” but busi-
ness in China happens over din-
ner and boozy karaoke fests.
To many Americans, Hunter’s
wheeling and dealing in China
might look like another example
of the powerful exploiting access
— just like, well, Hunter in
Ukraine. But this Xianchai is more
sinister: It’s the apotheosis of the
corrupt bond between US elites
and China’s brutal regime.
Hunter is a winner in a global-
ist system that saw America
hand to China its industrial base,
good jobs, intellectual property
and global standing in exchange
for market access and flattery.
China, Wall Street and the Bid-
ens profited.
His son’s profiteering aside, Joe
Biden defends this system — and

has since meeting Deng Xiaop-
ing in 1979, when he joined the
first US congressional delegation
to the People’s Republic.
As chairman of the Senate For-
eign Relations Committee in the
early 2000s and then as veep,
Biden helped along China’s geo-
political rise. Bernie Sanders is
thus right to criticize
Biden for supporting the
grant of Permanent Nor-
mal Trade Relations status
to China in 2000.
A decade later, Biden
­said: “A rising China is a... posi-
tive ­development not only for
China, but for America.” Tell that
to the 1 million Uighurs in Chi-
nese concentration camps. Tell it
to Asian democracies menaced
by Beijing’s bullying. Tell it to the
American factory workers who
lost good jobs while Hunter got
$80,000 a month for his prince-
ling sinecure.
Oh, and what did Biden do
about the growing Chinese-
fueled fentanyl crisis while
“overseeing the China portfolio,”
as he says he did in the ­Obama
administration? Nada.
What Biden did do was to con-
tribute mightily to Team
­Obama’s record of appeasement
and failure to counter Chinese
aggression from cyber-hacking
to island-building.
Nowadays, Biden might virtue-
signal about a “rules-based inter-
national order” and human
rights in China. But while he
­occupied the highest circles of
American power, he did nothing
to prevent China from subvert-
ing those rules to supplant and

endanger America.
In practice, he upheld an “or-
der” in which the US Navy guar-
anteed the security of Chinese
resource imports and exports of
finished goods made in state-
subsidized factories.
Nowadays, Biden might call
his old friend Xi a “thug” and
yelp about Xinjiang and Hong
Kong. But the Communist Party
has long endured sanctimonious
liberals. Listening to their
­harangues is a small price for a
relationship that brings such
prosperity and strength.
Americans are now woke to
these realities. In today’s cli-
mate, a full return to the pre-
Trump China consensus may
not be possible, even for Biden.
But the predictability of Biden
would be a blessing to Beijing, as
opposed to Trump or Sanders.
The two populists understand
what China does. Meanwhile, just
last summer, Biden said of the
Chinese regime: “They’re not bad
folks.... They’re not competition
for us.”
Communist Party members
may not be “bad folks,” but they
are realists who prioritize their
own national interest.
That means subverting their
main geopolitical rival — and
Biden has consistently sup-
ported this goal. Strong drink
and strong hangovers may
­excuse Hunter’s Beijing hijinks,
but his father is beholden to a
delusional globalist ideology of
mutual benefit that has wrought
tremendous damage to our na-
tion. Call him Beijing Biden.
Nels Frye is a writer in Boston.

Beijing Biden

The ex-veep consistently helped China’s rise

Old friends: Then-Vice President Joe Biden with Chinese strongman Xi.


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