News and Analysis

How Democrats Built China’s Economy, From Clinton To Biden
Vice President Joe Biden speaks after former President Bill Clinton during a campaign rally on October 29, 2012 in Youngstown, Ohio.
John Moore/Getty Images

Unlike virtually any product housed on American store shelves, China’s economic success was Made in the USA. The leaders of the Democratic Party have paved the way for much of China’s inexorable 30-year rise as an incipient superpower, according to Lee Smith, the investigative journalist behind The Daily Wire’s new documentary series, “China: The Enemy Within.”

“The Democratic Party is America’s pro-China faction,” Smith told me during an exclusive interview. And he contends that America’s political, economic, and academic elites have crafted U.S. policies to benefit Chinese interests because they are able to financially enrich themselves in the process.

In one episode of his insightful series, Smith traces the history of American political leaders benefiting the Chinese Communist Party from the 1990s under President Bill Clinton to the modern day under President Joe Biden.

“When people talk about the global economy, what they really mean is cheap labor and free trade,” Smith says in one episode of the series. “The globalist leaders in the West understood that Communist China would be the centerpiece of a global economic system. Why? Because of a large, cheap pool of labor under the control of an authoritarian regime.”

He then moves forward, year by year, as Democratic politicians systematically set in place the policies that would give Beijing double-digit economic growth for years on end.

“In 1994, Bill Clinton’s China policy decoupled human rights and trade. In 2001, Clinton granted China Most Favored Nation status in trade, and this led to a key moment in U.S.-China relations: China’s 2001 accession to the World Trade Organization,” Smith notes.

“The U.S. government was signaling that trade with China was more important than human rights in China,” he said. “What the West had been dreaming of for decades — this cheap pool of labor would be the centerpiece of this new order — finally became true.”

The United States has lost 3.7 million jobs to China since Beijing gained WTO membership, according to a study from the Economic Policy Institute. “From 2001 to 2018, every state and every congressional district has suffered job loss due to the U.S.-China trade deficit, though five states in particular have been crushed, based on total jobs lost: California (654,200 jobs lost), Texas (334,700), New York (185,200), Illinois (162,300) and Florida (150,500),” noted the Alliance for American Manufacturing.

While the working- and middle-class saw their jobs and communities erode, the most powerful forces in society benefited from lower labor costs and access to China’s billion-plus-person market. “What it meant was that people were going to get rich,” said Smith. “There was a place for the American establishment to build wealth and power without anyone looking over their shoulder.”

One of those people, Smith notes in his series, was Hunter Biden. During Joe Biden’s tenure as vice president, Hunter Biden arranged multiple business deals with close allies of Chinese President Xi Jinping, squeezing $6 million out of the relationship before things went sour, according to Miranda Devine.

Meanwhile, the vice president muted his criticism of even the worst Chinese human rights abuses. During a 2011 visit to China, then-Vice President Biden — who always styled himself a moderate on abortion — told Chinese students he was “not second-guessing” the Chinese Communist Party’s one-child policy, which some estimate is responsible for 336 million abortions; he even said he hoped Chinese and American leaders could “learn together” from it. As president a decade later, an often-flustered Biden regularly falls back on familiar words and phrases he remembers … and alongside his familiar “C’mon, man!” is a quotation from former Chinese dictator Mao Tse-tung.

Yet neither Mao’s past atrocities — he was responsible for the deaths of at least 45 million people — nor President Xi Jinping’s ethnic cleansing of the nation’s Uyghur population impacts U.S. policy. Smith’s docuseries may answer why. “America’s ruling classes,” Smith said, “attach themselves to a foreign power, China, in order to enrich themselves at the expense of the United States. This is the enemy within.”

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