President Biden spoke at joint military air base in southern Virginia Friday, warning troops that China thinks it will ‘own America’ within the next 15 years.
To make his point, Biden referenced past conversations he had with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
‘I’ve spent more time with President Xi [Jinping] of China than any world leader has,’ Biden said while making his Memorial Day remarks. ‘For 24 hours of private meetings, with just an interpreter, 17,000 miles traveling in China and here.
‘He firmly believes that China before the year 2035 is going to own America, because autocracies can make quick decisions. But America is unique. And all nations in the world, we’re the only nation organized based on an idea.
‘None of you get your rights from your government; you get your rights merely because you’re a child of God. The government is there to protect those God-given rights. No other government has been based on that notion. No one can defeat us except us.’
President Joe Biden told the service members the world is in a battle between autocracies and democracies
Biden spoke at joint military air base in southern Virginia Friday, warning troops that Chinese President Xi Jinping thinks he will ‘own America’ within the next 15 years
Biden did not go into further details as to what he meant by ‘own America’ and made no other remarks about the country during his 23-minute speech.
Biden shared China’s worrying prediction after previously insisting the Communist country was ‘not competition for us’ while on the presidential campaign trail in 2019, but tensions between the US and China have grown in recent weeks as a growing number of scientists question whether COVID-19 leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
On Wednesday, he ordered the 17 National Labs run by the Department of Energy to assist the intelligence community in a 90-day sprint to examine whether the virus leaked from a lab in China, by sifting through a massive trove of previously unexamined data.
President Joe Biden has ordered the government’s premiere research laboratories to join the search for the true origins of the COVID-19 pandemic
Intelligence agencies regularly collect more raw data than their analysts are able to effectively pore through, and the application of advanced algorithms to seek patterns in the massive data set could offer new breakthroughs.
‘We want the science to be a big part of this,’ the White House official told CNN. ‘We are going to use the full resources of our intelligence and scientific community to try to get to the bottom of this.’
Biden is also urging U.S. intelligence agencies and those of allies to hunt for new information that could shed light on whether China covered up a lab leak.
Senator Tom Cotton, an Arkansas Republican, said the Biden administration’s response was ‘better late than never, but far from adequate.’
‘Our intelligence community has been looking at this now for 15 months. They’ve done good work on it, but in the end the answer lies in the hands of Chinese communists, not people working for American intelligence agencies,’ he told the Arkansas Democrat Gazette.
Cotton said that officials in Beijing have not been forthcoming about how the pandemic began. ‘We should be insisting that they come clean, that they provide us a clear and unvarnished look at what was happening in the Wuhan labs,’ he said.
Circumstantial evidence has long raised questions about the Wuhan Institute of Virology, where researchers were known to be conducting experiments on bat coronavirus strains similar to the one responsible for COVID-19.
Researchers are seen at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Biden’s new 90-day probe will examine whether evidence supports the lab leak theory of the pandemic
China insisted early and often that the virus did not leak from the lab, claiming that crossover to humans must have occurred at a ‘wet market’ in Wuhan that sold live animals.
Perhaps driven by animosity for Donald Trump, who embraced the lab leak theory early on, the mainstream U.S. media and academics heaped scorn on the possibility, calling it an unhinged conspiracy theory.
But new evidence, including reports of three workers at the Wuhan lab who fell seriously ill with COVID-like symptoms in November 2019, has forced a sober reassessment among doubters.
Frustration with China increased this week after Beijing said that it would not participate in any further investigations by the World Health Organization.
Biden rebuked China in his announcement of the new intelligence review, calling on allies to help ‘press China to participate in a full, transparent, evidence-based international investigation and to provide access to all relevant data and evidence.’
Circumstantial evidence has long raised questions about the Wuhan Institute of Virology, where researchers were known to be conducting experiments on bat coronavirus strains
Back at Langley, Biden moved on to speak to the small contingent of troops present about the sacrifices that military members and their families make.
He spoke emotionally for a long period about his late son, Beau, whom he credited with humility and said had to be ordered to display his military medals and achievements.
‘Here at Joint Base Langley-Eustis you enable the success of our mission around the world and provide intelligence support and air power. You ensure are soldiers of and airmen are ready trained to deploy … around the world, including this year adhering to covid-19 safety protocols and quarantine before your ship out,’ Biden said.
‘You make up 1 percent of the population defending 99 percent of the rest of us. We owe you,’ he added.
Biden touted improvements in the nation’s response to the coronavirus earlier in Northern Virginia with Gov. Ralph Northam.
He spoke to the troops near the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay as he made his way home to Delaware for the long weekend, on a day his team was releasing his detailed budget proposal for 2022.
He recalled flying into Baghdad and asking an air crew how long they had been deployed. Some were on their third and fourth tours, with one on their fifth.
Biden visited the base as he prepared to kick off Memorial Day weekend
He spoke at length about his late son who was deployed to Iraq as a member of the Delaware Army National Guard.
‘I shouldn’t be talking so much about my son, but I’m not going to apologize for it,’ he said. He recalled how Beau had asked to have his military uniform display the name Hunter, his mother’s maiden name, so as not to call attention to his namesake father, who was serving as vice president at the time.
‘No other war have you gone in, served, got back up again and go back again and again and again,’ he intoned.
‘Once, wiping the blood off a seat of up-armored Humvee is enough to get you focused. Then to saddle up next time and go back? And back again? You’re incredible.’
He spoke emotionally about his late son Beau Biden, who served in Iraq, and is seen here at Camp Victory on July 4, 2009 near Baghdad
‘The country, they owe you. And this time, they’re more appreciative.’
Biden also acknowledged people in the audience, including lawmakers, a military vet, and people who may have been apparent family members, one of whom Biden singled out.
‘I love those barrettes in your hair. Man I’ll tell you what, look at her she looks like she’s 19 years old sitting there like a little lady with her legs crossed,’ he said during the acknowledgements.
He spoke of ending the longest war in U.S. history, the Afghanistan war he says will end by September 11th.
Biden spoke alongside an F-22 aircraft
He said the U.S. went in ‘with the clear purpose to get the people attacked us on 9.11. and to prevent Al Qaeda from using Afghanistan as a base from which to attack America in the future.’
‘We achieved that purpose. You achieved that purpose,’ in what he called a ‘God-forsaken landscape.’
‘The greatest threat and likelihood of attack from al-Qaeda or ISIS is not going to be from Afghanistan,’ he said. ‘It’s going to be from five other regions of the world that have significantly more presence of both al-Qaeda and organizational structures, including ISIS.’
‘Our son did not die in Iraq, but he came back went as an incredibly healthy young man and came back with a severe brain tumor, because his hooch was just down wind from those burn pits. I don’t know if that’s the reason, but when he came home, it was just a matter of how long,’ he said. He was referencing burn pits that many U.S. veterans blame for causing a series of ailments linked to their service.
President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden pose for a photo at Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Hampton, Va., Friday, May 28, 2021