Critics Demand Stronger Action from Biden on China

After months of criticism for his Chinese Communist Party indulgence, President Biden declared this week a formal boycott of next year’s Winter Olympics in Beijing.

Even while Biden’s move to not send American diplomats and officials was widely praised, critics say it was long overdue. Also, it might have been better managed to send a powerful signal to Chinese President Xi Jinping, whom Biden once called an old friend.

Kelley Eckels Currie, the former U.S. Global Women’s Issues ambassador-at-large and UN Commission on Gender Equality representative, said it was fair, but not harsh.

Further Limitations

Currie recommended expanding the Commerce Department’s trade limitation list and the Treasury Department’s Global Magnitsky Enforcement Program. This will be announced on December 10, Human Rights Day.

Currie believes Biden should have announced his diplomatic boycott alongside Canada, Australia, and the UK.

She said she’s all for performance, but it needs to be accompanied by genuine initiatives, like penalty enforcement.

Currie claims Biden’s worst China misstep was hoping he and climate diplomat John Kerry could strike “a spectacular deal” on the environment. They helped undermine the final UN climate conference framework last month.

Currie asked Biden to consider China’s military, technical, industrial, and mineral wealth strengths, disempowering Kerry. She also remarked the US solar supply networks should be restored. 

The diplomatic embargo was “inadequate” because of China’s assaults on the US, its threats towards Taiwan, and its lack of openness on COVID-19, according to Vandenberg Coalition Executive Director Carrie Filipetti.

The former U.S. deputy assistant secretary for Cuba said it concerns both the Uyghur citizenry’s safety and the safety of the American athletes in Beijing.

Disappearance of Peng Shuai

She said the Olympics show the value of sportsmanship and global collaboration, and China merely serves to erode norms. According to Scott Kennedy of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the US has viewed the Olympics as a diplomatic weapon.

This would put China under more scrutiny, said the senior adviser and chairman of the Chinese Business and Economics Trust. The Olympics will include 16 days of worldwide discourse about China’s human rights conditions, which is what anyone seeking to spotlight China should desire. 

Currie complimented the Women’s Tennis Association, in general, for suspending its Chinese competitions. This happened due to worries about Peng Shuai, the 35-year-old Wimbledon and French Open doubles champion who went missing for weeks after accusing former Chinese senior Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli, 75, of sexual abuse.

Currie compared the WTA’s decision to that of corporate executives like Bridgewater Associates founder and co-chairman Ray Dalio. 

Currie said we are approaching a critical threshold where it will become unsustainable to continue doing business with a murderous dictatorship that openly threatens US interests, while torturing its own people.

Kennedy disagreed, claiming the US-China business partnership has an “upside” and supply chain concerns can improve American competitiveness, solve human rights issues, and enhance American national security.