President Biden dropped an ominous note into his remarks to American service members at a Virginia military base Friday, telling them that his Chinese counterpart believes Beijing will “own America” inside the next 15 years.
“We’re in a battle between democracies and autocracies,” Biden told troops at Joint Base Langley Eustis in Hampton. “The more complicated the world becomes, the more difficult it is for democracies to come together and reach consensus.
“I’ve spent more time with President Xi [Jinping] of China than any world leader has — for 24 hours of private meetings with him with just an interpreter, 17,000 miles traveling with him in China and here,” the president added. “He firmly believes that China, before the year 30, ’35, is going to own America because autocracies can make quick decisions.”
The president did not elaborate on what was meant by “own America.” He made no other mention of China during his 23-minute remarks.
“America is unique. From all nations in the world, we’re the only nation organized based on an idea …” Biden said in the address. “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.”
“You all just showed up and did your job, and it helped make sure there hasn’t been another attack on the homeland from Afghanistan for the last 20 years,” he said. “And you never gave up until we delivered justice to Osama bin Laden.”
Later in his remarks, Biden claimed that “the greatest threat and likelihood of attack from al Qaeda or ISIS is not going to be from Afghanistan; 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.”
Praising servicemembers as “1 percent of the population” who are “defending 99 percent of the rest of us,” the president concluded his remarks by saying: “Thank you for your commitment to our country, because … you are the spine of America … And I can’t tell you how much it matters. I think you underestimate just the consequence of who you are and what you do. So, thank you.”
Last year, then-President Donald Trump attempted to ink a deal with NATO forces and the Taliban to evacuate American forces from Afghanistan. In return, the Taliban would have to abide by the terms of the agreement or risk retaliation by the United States. Trump committed to a full troop withdrawal within 14 months in February 2020 if the agreement was kept.
Biden missed Trump’s deadline after announcing he was renegotiating the deal in March, but Biden committed to the full withdrawal of American troops nonetheless.