Joe Biden suggested to CNN that his administration will not be holding China accountable over their lies and cover-up in the coronavirus pandemic, saying that it was not about “punishing” them.
The interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, who at one point during the interview joked about wanting to work in a Biden administration, featured a wide range of topics, including foreign policy issues related to China.
“My concern from the beginning — I’ve spoke about it, and I met with Xi more times than anybody had up until the time we left office that I’m aware of — is to make it real clear to China there are international rules that, if you want to play by, we’ll play with you,” Biden said. “If you don’t, we’re not going to play, number one.”
“Number two, it’s not about punishing them for the COVID virus,” Biden continued. “It’s about insisting that there be international norms that are established that they play by.”
Biden then suggested that the Trump administration had not insisted that China stop “stealing of national secrets,” a claim that fact-checkers have slammed Biden for making.
Biden, cozying up to China and saying they shouldn't be punished for their belligerence and lying about the spread of coronavirus: "[I]t's not about punishing them for COVID virus. It's about insisting that there be international norms that are established that they play by." pic.twitter.com/9RFspYUvfR
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) December 4, 2020
JAKE TAPPER, CNN OPINION HOST: Let me ask you about China, if I can, Madam Vice President- Elect.
The president-elect has said he would — he will not immediately remove the Trump tariffs on China. Should the Chinese government, in your view, be further punished for mishandling and hiding the truth about the novel coronavirus that began there?
SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA), VICE PRESIDENT-ELECT: Well, as the president-elect said, there’s one president at a time. And we are not in the position of stating policy about our relationship with any of these countries at this moment.
And, frankly, we are early in the process, sadly, of getting information that is classified information. Our intelligence briefings just started. So, we’re not in a position to respond to that specifically.
But, certainly, one of the things that are very clear is that this is going to be an administration that puts the public health professionals first, and not politics first, in the discussion about the cause, the reason, and the effect of COVID-19.
BIDEN: … the president’s approach to China has been backwards.
My concern from the beginning — I’ve spoke about it, and I met with Xi more times than anybody had up until the time we left office that I’m aware of — is to make it real clear to China there are international rules that, if you want to play by, we’ll play with you. If you don’t, we’re not going to play, number one.
Number two, it’s not about punishing them for COVID virus. It’s about insisting that there be international norms that are established that they play by.
For example, the idea that we make up about 15 — 20 percent of the world’s economy, 25 percent, and they are — and we’re not going along with the rest of our allies to make sure that, in Europe and in Asia, we insist that, for example, stopping the stealing of national secrets, stopping the secret — stealing of artificial intelligence capacity.
We have to make it clear that we will respond. For example, when you’re in a situation where, if you want to do business in China and you’re a high-tech firm, you’ve got to have a 51 percent Chinese partner, so they have access to — that’s not going to happen in our administration. That’s not going to happen.
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