As President Joe Biden deals with mounting problems at home---inflation, the border crisis, the lingering COVID pandemic, poor approval numbers---he's not scoring too many points on the world stage either. This week's ballyhooed virtual summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping turned out to be a nothingburger, with the biggest story afterward being the White House refuting Xi calling Biden "my old friend." At the same time, Russia continues to amass troops near the border of Ukraine.
Economist and Columnist Peter Morici is among those calling out Biden for appeasement while Russia and China grow more brazen. "Right now his policy is more go along to get along," says Morici. "The Chinese need to be told---and this will be very tough for an American president, but we elect presidents to do tough things---that we will defend Taiwan, and in addition that risks a broader war with us."
Instead, Biden this week embraced the One China policy, which denies Taiwan's independence. On Russia, Biden has approved a Russian oil pipeline while making the U.S. more dependent on Russian oil. As for Russia's possible impending invasion of Ukraine: "I doubt that Joe Biden will do the right thing," says Morici. "And that is, if (the Russians) go across the border in the Ukraine, we sink their fleet."
Overall, on a historical leadership scale, Morici rates Biden more Neville Chamberlain than Winston Churchill. "If you look at the Russian pipeline issue, Biden basically backed down and made a deal, much like Chamberlain in World War II saying 'peace in our time,'" says Morici.
"Now, Mr. Biden is planning a big summit of democracies, and there's going to be a lot of Kumbaya talk there...I can just see Biden emerging from that saying 'social justice in our time.'"