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Stop legitimizing China's corrupt regime

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Xi Jinping et al. sitting at a table in front of a flag: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry meets with China's President Xi Jinping, right, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing Thursday, July 10, 2014. (AP Photo/Jim Bourg, Pool) © Jim Bourg U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry meets with China's President Xi Jinping, right, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing Thursday, July 10, 2014. (AP Photo/Jim Bourg, Pool)

China’s Sinovac and Sinopharm vaccines deliver protection well below 90% effectiveness, based on the results from countries that have come to rely on them. Clinical trials point to even more discouraging numbers, with as few as 51% of their users avoiding symptomatic disease.

Even if that is better than nothing, it is still outrageous that China is demanding payment for these subpar products from the international vaccine-sharing cooperative COVAX, whereas millions of highly effective American vaccine doses have been donated for free.

This state of affairs has prompted Samantha Power, President Joe Biden’s head of the U.S. Agency for International Development, to state quite strongly, “It is appalling that Beijing chose to make a profit on those vaccines rather than to contribute financially to COVAX or to donate its state-owned vaccines to COVAX to reach people in their hour of desperate need.”

It is heartening to see someone in Biden’s administration call out a regime that Biden has been conspicuously loath to confront. Unfortunately, however, the common sense that Power displays in this instance only serves to illustrate Biden's culpability in overlooking Chinese dictator Xi Jinping’s perfidy in so many other areas.

Indeed, if Biden understands the Chinese communists’ persistent habits of lying, stealing, cheating on agreements, and committing genocide, that leaves him with no excuse for his otherwise obsequious behavior toward Xi. It must be asked of Biden why he is subordinating U.S. interests to multilateral institutions that communist China has thoroughly corrupted, instead of directly confronting this hostile power on a bilateral basis?

The act of rejoining the World Health Organization, for example, was a terrific opportunity for self-righteous internationalism at the expense of former President Donald Trump. But aside from ameliorating the Trump rage of the displaced foreign policy elite, why did Biden restore the credibility of an international agency that had clearly become China’s puppet? For years, China has been funding and installing its own candidates to head the WHO. By now, it is well known that the WHO initially helped cover up and minimize the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, all the while minimizing the Taiwanese government’s warnings. Long before that, having installed its own candidates to head the WHO for years, it was using the organization to promote scientifically unsound traditional medicine practices that not only don’t make people healthy but also deplete endangered species. This organization is not worthy of the credibility that U.S. membership confers upon it.

The Paris accord is another example. This multilateral agreement will accomplish a great big zero in terms of reducing global warming, but it will deliver quick pain to Western economies. Meanwhile, it provides China with a blank check to pollute with impunity for another decade. So, knowing how China cheats, and in this case, it is not even living up to the pathetic demands placed upon it, why would the United States restrict its own economy while letting China build hundreds of new coal-fired power plants with absolutely no consequence?

The U.N. Human Rights Council, which Trump rightly had the U.S. quit, is simply a disgrace. It overlooks genocide by governments such as those of China and Syria and repression by bad actors such as Cuba. It is far too busy to deal with such questions because it is busy issuing a new condemnation of Israel every three weeks. The panel, which typically includes representatives of the world’s worst human rights-abusing governments, issued 17 condemnations of Israel last year, mostly just for defending itself, compared to just six condemnations for all the other human rights abuses going on in the world. Sure, China is committing genocide against the Uyghurs, but the UNHRC would sooner expend its energy condemning the U.S. for its immigration and asylum policies, which even under Trump were extremely generous by world standards.

The Xi regime has clearly corrupted COVAX, the Paris accord, the UNHRC, the WHO, and a host of other multilateral institutions. If American diplomats are to make progress in advancing U.S. interests against this increasingly belligerent and hostile power, then Biden must first stop playing China’s game. Instead of engaging with corrupted multilateral institutions, Biden should be looking to forge bilateral partnerships with trusted allies to further U.S. interests around the world.

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Original Location: Stop legitimizing China's corrupt regime


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