GOP senator rips Biden in Op-Ed: 'He’s on China’s side – not yours'

'Joe Biden Is China’s Choice for President'

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Sen. Tom Cotton
Arkansas GOP Sen. Tom Cotton on Capitol Hill
(Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Updated: March 12, 2020 - 11:53am

Arkansas GOP Sen. Tom Cotton, one of Congress’ most hawkish members, is sending up red flags about what he thinks is Joe Biden’s soft stance on China, as the former vice president gets closer to becoming the Democratic nominee for president.

“And Joe Biden? Well, he’s on China’s side – not yours,” Cotton begins his roughly 800-word essay in “The National Review.” 

“Despite the occasional box-checking, wishy-washy comment slapping Beijing on the wrist for the worst of its abuses, the reality is that the former vice president’s support of the People’s Republic of China is deep and longstanding,” continues Cotton, an Afghanistan and Iraq wars veteran.

Cotton, also a member of the Senate’s Intelligence and Armed Services committees, argues that Biden – as a senior Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee – “carefully shepherded China” through its successful efforts to become a World Trade Organization member and win most-favored-nation trade status. 

“Wherever a brake might have been applied – by placing human-rights or labor conditions on most-favored-nation status, for example – Biden voted the measures down and lobbied other senators for Beijing. Unfortunately, China and Biden got their way, and American workers are still suffering from it,” writes Cotton.

He also argues that Biden’s stances on China aren’t just old news, pointing out that he recently attacked President Trump for limiting travel from China to reduce the spread of the coronavirus, calling the policy “hysterical xenophobia.”

The Biden campaign was contacted for comment but has not immediately responded.

Cotton, like all skilled rhetoricians, makes sure in the essay that he doesn’t put all Democrats in the Biden bucket – arguing that the party’s No. 1 and No. 2 leaders are tough on China trade.

“Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi have been long-standing China trade hawks,” writes Cotton, who perhaps takes his biggest dig at Biden when he argues that Vermont Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders, who until recently was the Democrat primary front runner, has been tougher on China trade. 

“Even a socialist like Bernie Sanders has been a reliable critic,” Cotton argues.

 

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