'Trump is better': NYT stupefied to find Asian allies' acid reaction to Joe Biden
This comes as news to the activists at the New York Times, but America's allies in Asia aren't thrilled about the return of Joe Biden.
Here's Times writer Hannah Beech's lede:
BANGKOK — A dissident once branded Enemy No. 1 by the Chinese Communist Party is spreading conspiracy theories about the American presidential election.
Pro-democracy campaigners from Hong Kong are championing President Trump's claims of an electoral victory.
Human rights activists and religious leaders in Vietnam and Myanmar are expressing reservations about President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.'s ability to keep authoritarians in check.
It might seem counterintuitive that Asian defenders of democracy are among the most ardent supporters of Mr. Trump, who has declared his friendship with Xi Jinping of China and Kim Jong-un of North Korea. But it is precisely Mr. Trump's willingness to flout diplomatic protocol, abandon international accords and keep his opponents off-balance that have earned him plaudits as a leader strong enough to stand up to dictators and defend democratic ideals overseas, even if he has been criticized as diminishing them at home.
Seem counterintuitive? No, it seems pretty nakedly obvious. Joe Biden pledged to "repair alliances," but here are the allies, and they aren't too impressed. And yes, Trump's policy of strength is exactly what it takes to defend democratic ideals overseas. International agreements are for losers. Note the Times' snipe at Trump for supposedly diminishing "democracy" with zero specifics. In reality, the entire story contradicts the Times' claim, because Trump expanded democracy, both here and abroad. The Times prefers to scratch its head at the phony paradox.
Trump's willingness to confront China (and not take money under the table from it to benefit the family) made a big difference to America's democratic and other allies in Asia — from Vietnam, which is openly threatened by China with its illegal offshore claims in the South China Sea, to Hong Kong, where China has violated its 1997 treaty with Britain to keep things as is for 50 years, nakedly taking the beautiful little enclave over, running it as nastily as it does the rest of China, to Burma, which has China problems of its own related to the sellout deeds of its tin-pot tyrants as well as the rights of minorities such as Christians, to Taiwan, which is under direct threat from the behemoth across the strait.
Oh, and let's not forget Japan, which the Times didn't mention: locals marched in at least hundreds to show support for Trump in the streets. This is Japan, people, famous for its restraint and order, and America is someone else's country to them. But it was that important, and march they did:
World is watching!— 🇺🇸 Pismo 🇺🇸 (@Pismo_B) November 28, 2020
Trump supporters rally in Tokyo, Japan!pic.twitter.com/zluzt1pntX
"Trump is better," said a Burmese Christian activist. Here's the Times' passage about it:
Mr. Trump's popularity is particularly enduring among Christians, such as Chinese-born legal scholars chafing against Communism's atheist core and ethnic minority activists in Southeast Asia. Mr. Pompeo and other Trump administration officials, they believe, have been fulfilling a faith-based mission overseas.
Last year, Mr. Trump met in the White House with a group of religious leaders from across the world, including Hkalam Samson, the president of the Kachin Baptist Convention, which represents the persecuted Christian Kachin minority in Myanmar.
"My experience in the White House, when I was given one minute to speak out about the Kachin, meant a lot, and it also meant that Trump cares about us," Mr. Samson said. "Trump is better for the Kachin than Biden."
I've got to laud the Times for actually reporting this, given the press's love for silence and Biden press releases. The fact of the matter is, among the people on the ground, Biden, with his proposed policy of deferring to "allies" rather than showing leadership, and his slavish devotion to the "international order[.]"
It's as if the Times couldn't find anyone out there to tell us from Asia that Biden is good news, and goodness knows, they tried. Everyone offered a blast at Biden and warm words for Trump, who, it turns out, is beloved in East Asia (along with the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America).
So much for Biden's claims to restore relations with America's allies. We know that the Middle East is terrified of Biden's tilt toward Iran, and Israel, apparently, is taking pre-emptive action on Iran's killer nuclear scientists. We know Latin America's unimpressed — both conservative Brazil and socialist Mexico are refusing to recognize Joe Biden as president until they absolutely have to. Meanwhile, over in Cuba, there is great concern about Biden's desire to suck up to the vicious communist dictatorships there, calling it "helping the Cuban people" to use the parlance of the communists. Same deal in Venezuela.
But there's a particularly big reaction in East Asia, where China is acting most aggressively. This dissident summed it up most aptly:
"For Biden's policies toward China, the part about making China play by the international rules, I think, is very hollow," said Wang Dan, who helped lead the 1989 Tiananmen protests as a university student. "As we know, the Chinese Communist Party hardly abides by international rules."
Biden's in love with international organizations and rules, but only for America. China doesn't do rules, and Biden's content with "stern warnings" if even that. Asia's locals can see right through this.
Trump, for them, made things great for Asia. Biden plans to make everyone but China, Cuba and Iran weak. The Times claims that Trump sucks up to dictators when all he does is maneuver with deals to buy time and extend peace. Biden, though, is the real suck-up to dictators, capitulating to them as a substitute for cutting deals.
Image credit: Twitter screen shot.