Republican China hawk Tom Cotton (R-Ar.) mocked the Biden administration for chasing China like a "lovestruck" teenager, as State Secretary Antony Blinken departs for Beijing months after China brazenly spied on U.S. military bases.
"You’ve got all these Biden administration officials who are acting like lovestruck teenagers chasing after Chinese communists. It’s humiliating, but more than that, it’s dangerous. It projects weakness and a desire to accommodate and conciliate Communist China," Cotton told Breitbart.
Blinken was originally scheduled to visit China in February, but the administration delayed the meeting following the Chinese balloon controversy.
Cotton suggested that Blinken was scheduled to go to China even after the spy balloon had entered American airspace, and that the administration's hand was forced only when word got out about the balloon.
"It was only because, you know, a couple of cattle ranchers and an amateur photographer in Montana looked up and said, ‘Hey, what’s the big balloon up in the sky?’ that the administration finally admitted it, I think two days before Blinken was scheduled.”
Biden's eagerness not to provoke Beijing, even in the face of brazen aggression, has led to criticism particularly from Republicans who say his diplomatic outreach makes America look weak.
The Pentagon's top official, Lloyd Austin, was also rejected by China weeks ago after floating a meeting, Cotton noted.
"If they don’t want to talk to us, we should just tell them, ‘Fine, get back to us when you do want to talk. In the meantime, we’re going to be building long-range missiles in overdrive and shipping them to places like Guam, and Japan, the Philippines, and South Korea to deter Chinese aggression," Cotton said.
Biden has said he believes a "thaw" in relations with China is coming, even as tensions continuously heat up in the South China Sea, with China coming dangerously close to Taiwan and U.S. vessels.
Not to mention, the White House confirmed for the first time this week that China has had a spy base in Cuba for years. But Blinken is proceeding with the meeting, despite being reportedly scolded over the phone by his Chinese counterparts.
The goal of Blinken's trip is to "calm the waters with China," a former U.S. official with knowledge of Biden's plans told NBC.
Despite appearances, the administration insists they have the upper hand.
"We approach this visit from a position of strength and confidence,” a top Blinken underling told Politico.