Editor’s note: We asked former CIA officer Sam Faddis on what the Joe Biden administration would mean for South Asia, and for India in particular. Below is Sam’s assessment on the subject. Charles S. (Sam) Faddis, is a former CIA operations officer with thirty years of experience in the conduct of intelligence operations in the Middle East, South Asia and Europe. His last assignment prior to retirement in May of 2008 was as head of the CIA’s terrorist Weapons of Mass Destruction unit. He currently serves as a Senior Editor with AND Magazine.
Most of the discussion regarding Joe Biden’s impact on American foreign policy vis a vis China has focused to date on the domestic front. That’s natural. Biden is the President of the United States of America. What his election means for the America is obviously the initial focus for the American press and reporters and analysts around the world.
American policy is for better or worse, though, not only something that matters in Chicago, New York or Los Angeles. It matters around the world. What the United States does and does not do impacts everyone, everywhere. That includes India.
If there is one single, critical issue in American foreign policy today it concerns China. The People’s Republic embarked decades ago on a concerted effort to overtake the United States economically and militarily and to become the dominant power on the planet. With the help of a great many Americans whose primary loyalty is to the Almighty Dollar, China has made great strides. It stands on the brink of achieving its goal.
For four years, Donald Trump stood as a bulwark against this Chinese offensive. For the first time in a generation, the American government pushed back on Beijing and attempted to redress the growing imbalance on trade. The anger with which these efforts were met in Beijing demonstrates just how effective they were.
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That is all over now. It is not simply that Joe Biden will not be quite as forceful as Donald Trump. Biden is going to cave in to the Chinese across the board. The team he is assembling, and the decisions he has already made demonstrate that quite clearly.
Tony Blinken is Joe Biden’s choice to be Secretary of State. Blinken comes to this position from his post as Managing Director of the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement at the University of Pennsylvania. The Penn Biden Center is not a think tank, which studies China. It is an entity, which is funded in large measure by the Chinese Communist Party and serves Chinese interests inside the United States. Since its founding, the Penn Biden Center has received in excess of $70 million from Chinese donors. Until questioned about it, the Center reported none of those donations. Over $20 million dollars in donations are still simply categorized as anonymous.
The Penn Biden Center steers completely clear of criticism of China. It has never printed or uttered a word about forced labor camps in China, live organ harvesting from Uyghur captives, the suppression of democracy in Hong Kong or China’s role in the ongoing worldwide pandemic.
Gina McCarthy is Biden’s choice to be “Climate Czar.” Most recently she has served as the CEO of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). The NRDC, while intensely critical of American environmental policy maintains a close working relationship with Communist China. In 2018 Barbara Finamore, the NRDC’s strategic director released a book entitled “Will China Save the Planet?” praising China for leading a “global clean energy revolution” and urging Western nations to follow Beijing’s example of “leadership.” The group’s ties to China are so obvious that in 2020 Representative Liz Cheney, R-Wyoming sent a letter to Attorney-General Barr asking the Department of Justice to investigate “potential Chinese and Russian efforts to influence U.S. environmental and energy policy, including efforts targeting U.S. environmental non-governmental organizations.”
“The NRDC maintains a presence in China and has long worked with [Chinese Communist Party] officials. Meanwhile, the group touts the dozens of lawsuits that it has launched against the Trump Administration,” Cheney wrote. She also noted that the NRDC has “sued the U.S. Navy in an effort to stop critical exercises in the Pacific but has shied away from criticizing China’s damaging militarization of coral reefs in the South China Sea.” Two other U. S. Congressmen also raised similar concerns and even suggested the NRDC might have to register as a foreign agent.
Biden’s choose for U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations is Linda Thomas-Greenfield. In 2019, Ms. Thomas-Greenfield gave a speech at the Chinese-funded Confucius Institute on the campus of Savannah State University in Savannah, Georgia. The speech focused on China’s activities in Africa.
Confucius Institutes are run by the government of China. Their mission is to spread Chinese propaganda and shape foreign perceptions of China. Per the teachings of the Confucius Institutes, there are no slave labor camps in China. There is no forced organ harvesting. Tibet belongs to China and always has. The Uighurs don’t exist.
It is not just that Ms. Thomas-Greenfield chose to speak at one of these institutions, however. It is what she said. A speech given by a Chinese Communist party official could not possibly have been more laudatory and pro-CCP.
“There is no doubt that China’s story of development from an impoverished country to a middle income, industrial powerhouse is attractive to African states who also seek to be better incorporated into the global economic system. China has definitely pushed that narrative and sought to be “Big Brother China” to the continent. As African states seek to learn from the China model, they have turned their gaze to Beijing.”
Never mind that the real objective of the Chinese government in Africa is to exploit the people and steal resources. To Ms. Thomas-Greenfield, the Chinese are the benevolent Big Brothers of the poor benighted Africans. The United States should not be opposing the CCP’s agenda. It should be assisting it and looking for ways to assist.
All of this, of course, occurs against the backdrop of Hunter Biden’s corruption and the stacks of evidence that suggest the Biden family has been taking money, including mountains of cash from Beijing, in exchange for political favors. It also stands against the history of Vice-President Biden’s actions during the Obama administration when Joe, as lead man on Asia policy, stood by and did nothing as the Chinese annexed the South China Sea.
The smell of what is coming is already in the air. In late January, Joe signed an executive order directing federal agencies in the United States to fight xenophobia directed at Asian-Americans. That may seem non-controversial enough, but the wording of the order is deliberately crafted to conceal its true intent.
Chinese United Front activities in the United States have been remarkably successful for decades. American politicians, officials and academics have been coopted. Chinese intelligence officers, operating under the cover of a vast number of front organizations have run rampant.
Under Trump the United States began to push back. Fronts were closed. Spies were expelled. Americans were arrested. In response, the Chinese government began to attempt to color all such counterintelligence actions as motivated by anti-Asian feeling. None of that was true, but it was a clever way to attempt to leverage the FBI and other agencies and make them back off.
It worked. Biden is in the Oval Office. The first pro-Beijing shots have been fired. A focus on Chinese groups and individuals will henceforth be considered racist. The pressure will abate. The Chinese will begin to regain their ability to operate freely.
We are now in an era where Beijing will largely shape American policy. There will be a lot of noise about Russia and about climate change and deafening silence about Communist China. Biden will not likely openly champion Beijing’s interests, but he will step by step ease the pressure, back off and acquiesce to the demands of the CCP.
For India, and for all of the other nations of South and East Asia this means backup and support, even diplomatic, will be hard to find. Chinese incursions along the border will not be met by strong U.S. condemnations. They will be met with deafening silence.
Arms sales will be cancelled. New deals will not be made. Talks of military assistance and closer cooperation will go nowhere.
The message to India, as for nations like Taiwan, will be – you are on your own. Make your best deal. Biden is Beijing’s man.