Oh Joe, Joe, Joe, Joe. God love ya.
But as I was talking to some of your leaders, you share a similar concern here in China. You have no safety net. Your policy has been one which I fully understand — I’m not second-guessing — of one child per family. The result being that you’re in a position where one wage earner will be taking care of four retired people. Not sustainable.
That’s right. The Vice President of the United States of America, a good old Catholic, was speaking in China and couldn’t bring himself to criticize China’s one child policy. No, he went so far as to say that he understands the policy. This comes a mere few moments after he had expended some hot air about human rights.
I recognize that many of you in this auditorium see our advocacy of human rights as at best an intrusion, and at worst an assault on your sovereignty. I want to tell you directly that this is not our intention. Yes, for Americans there is a significant moral component to our advocacy. And we observed where we have failed, as well. But it is who our people are.
But President Obama and I see protecting human rights and freedoms, we see it in a larger context, as well. Protecting freedoms such as those enshrined in China’s international commitments and in China’s own constitution — we see them as a key aspect of China’s successful emergence and the key continued growth and prosperity. I know that some in China believe that greater freedom could threaten economic progress by undermining social stability. I do not pretend to have the answer, but I believe history has shown the opposite to be true, that in the long run, greater openness is a source of stability and a sign of strength, that prosperity peaks when governments foster both free enterprise and free exchange of ideas, that liberty unlocks a people’s full potential. And in its absence, unrest festers.
Oh, but allowing the Chinese government to dictate to families how many children they can have, and forcing abortions upon those that violate that policy – we’ll just keep our mouths shut about that.
It’s one thing to tolerate the noxious authoritarian regime in China because of our precarious financial situation, but it’s quite another to give it tacit approval. To say that you understand the one child policy goes well beyond turning a blind eye to it. Even more disturbing is the fact that the only mild criticism Biden can muster is that it makes public support for pensioners more difficult. So the whole killing excess children part of the policy is understandable, but dagnabbit it sure does mean there will be fewer people around to pay for retirees. How sick is that?
Unsurprisingly this comes from the q&a portion of his presentation, so these comments were more off the cuff than his prepared remarks. Not that he uttered anything that is contrary to his own or the administration’s feelings. In fact this slightly unguarded remark tells you all you need to know about the current regime.