China has threatened the US how many times since Biden took office? The frail president has done little in the way of correcting the communist country’s bad behavior.
However, he has responded to Russia’s threats as you might expect but one can’t help but notice that China is getting a pass from this administration.
Fox News’s reporter Peter Doocy and the National Security Council spokesman John Kirby have gone several rounds this week over multiple press briefings over Bidens’s failures and blatant bias.
I think it’s safe to say that Kirby was not prepared for Doocy’s questions this week at any angle. The reporter has gotten in the spokesman’s head and it shows.
Thursday, Doocy led off with a cutting take for Kirby, who joined the inept White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre for the third time in four days: “Why is it that, over the last couple of months, President Biden’s been so much tougher on Russia than he is on China?”
Kirby seemed flat-footed, saying he “wouldn’t agree with the premise of the question.”
Doocy took a different route, pointing out Biden’s near-daily speeches in late February and March after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine are in stark contrast to China’s bellicose behavior toward Taiwan:
“Well, I think just when Russia was getting aggressive around Ukraine, the President was out every couple of days telling Putin, “don’t do it.” And now, China is getting aggressive around Taiwan and we’re not hearing anything like that from the President.”
Kirby was more ready for this one and countered that he’s “been standing up here for a week, Peter, talking about our concerns about what China was preparing to do.”
Taking into account President Biden’s prolonged bout with COVID-19, Doocy wondered why he hasn’t called Chinese dictator Xi Jinping and told him to knock it off:
“[Y]ou said that there’s not a call scheduled with Xi. Is there a reason why? Because President Biden’s known him for decades. He’s got a lot of time up there in the residence this week. Is there a reason he can’t just pick up the phone and call?”
Kirby was offended that Doocy suggested Biden had free time despite the fact that Biden is still cooped up in quarantine. Kirby suggested that the comment was “a little bit insulting”.
Doocy argued that it wasn’t insulting given the circumstances. While Kirby claimed that Biden has worked through his entire sickness.
Kirby argued, “You suggested he has a lot of free time as if he’s not doing anything and you know that’s not the case, Mr. Doocy. Now, look, as for a call with President Xi, I don’t have anything on the president scheduled to speak to.
If ever the President felt like a call with President Xi was the appropriate way to respond or that it would — that it would have an effect and an outcome that he wants to achieve, he certainly would be willing to do that.”
Transcript via WhiteHouse.Gov: (Names added for transparency.)
MR. DOOCY Thank you. Thanks, John. Why is it that, over the last couple of months, President Biden has been so much tougher on Russia than he is on China?
MR. KIRBY: I wouldn’t agree with the premise of the question, Peter.
MR. DOOCY Well, I think just — when Russia was getting aggressive around Ukraine, the President was out every couple of days telling Putin, “Don’t do it.” And now China is getting aggressive around Taiwan, and we’re not hearing anything like that from the President.
MR. KIRBY: Oh, beg to differ. We’ve been standing up here for almost a week, Peter, talking about our concerns about what China was preparing to do. We put out declassified information that we saw what the Chinese playbook was going to be.
Look, I stood at another podium not long ago, and much of the same way we reacted then we’re reacting now, in terms of being honest and transparent about what’s going on and calling it out for what it is.
And then, today, we’re talking about exactly what we’re going to do to make sure we can help preserve a free and open Indo-Pacific.
So I’m — I’m afraid I just challenge the premise of your question.
MR. DOOCY I know you said that there is not a call scheduled with Xi. Is there a reason why? Because President Biden has known him for decades.
MR. KIRBY: Yeah.
MR. DOOCY He’s got a lot of free time up there in the Residence this week.
MR. KIRBY: He doesn’t have free time. He — he’s —
MR. DOOCY Is there a reason he can’t just pick up the phone and call?
MR. KIRBY: He’s been working all the way through his illness, quite frankly, Peter. So that’s a little bit insulting.
And as for a call —
MR. DOOCY It’s not insulting to —
MR. KIRBY: It is. It is.
MR. DOOCY — say that the — that someone who is isolating by themselves —
MR. KIRBY: You suggested he has a lot of free time, as if he’s not doing anything. And you know that’s not the case, Mr. Doocy.
Now, look, as for a call with President Xi, I don’t have anything on the President’s schedule to speak to.
If ever the President felt like a call with President Xi was the appropriate way to respond or that it would — that it would have an effect and an outcome that he wants to achieve, he certainly would be willing to do that. He’s talked to Xi now five times; it’s not like he’s afraid to pick up the phone and call President Xi. And if there’s a — if a call is the right answer, I’m sure that President Biden will do that. But I’m not going to get ahead of the President on this.
I do want to stress — I said it before, but I do think that your question begs me to say it again: The lines of communication are still open with Beijing, and we’re using those lines of communication. And I think you’ll see that in days to come as well. That’s really important.
And that’s one of the reasons why President Biden made that call a week or so ago, was to make sure — and you saw it in Karine’s readout — to make sure that those lines of communication stay open, and they are.
Erica Carlin is an independent journalist, opinion writer and contributor to several news and opinion sources. She is based in Georgia.