Biden’s ‘poor’ State of the Union address used to bolster election race: experts
Published: Mar 08, 2024 11:19 PM
The snow-covered Capitol building and the National Mall are seen from top of the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C., the United States, Jan. 17, 2024(Photo: Xinhua)

The snow-covered Capitol building and the National Mall are seen from top of the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C., the United States, Jan. 17, 2024(Photo: Xinhua)

Chinese experts described US President Joe Biden's State of the Union address as being "of poor quality" and "out of tune" as it sought to bolster his election campaign instead of talking about policies to make US development healthier and more stable.

Biden delivered the final State of the Union of his first term on Thursday night (local time), in a speech packed with 2024 campaign themes and contrasts he plans to highlight in the eight months before Americans decide whether to give him - or Donald Trump - four more years in the White House, US media outlet NBS News reported.

According to recent NBC News polling, Biden went into the speech with an exceptionally low approval rating of 37 percent. That's lower than the approval rating of his predecessors Trump in 2020 (46 percent), Barack Obama in 2012 (48 percent), George W. Bush in 2004 (54 percent) and Bill Clinton in 1996 (46 percent) in January of their re-election bid years.

He referred to "my predecessor" 13 times, not saying Trump's name once but making him a clear focus of his speech.

When referring to China, Biden claimed, "Frankly, for all his [Trump's] tough talk on China, it never occurred to my predecessor to do that."

"We should say this State of the Union address is of poor quality," said Li Haidong, a professor at the China Foreign Affairs University. "Instead of talking about real policies to make the US healthier and more stable, it sought to bolster his election race, which makes this State of the Union out of tune," Li criticized.

In response to a question on which US president China thinks has the toughest attitude toward the county, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said at Friday's press conference, "I have no comment."

China has always believed that China-US relations are not a zero-sum game in which one gains and the other loses. We are opposed to defining China-US relations by competition, attacking and discrediting China, and to the US restricting China's legitimate development rights under the banner of competition, Mao stated.

The spokesperson stressed that China has always handled its ties with the US in accordance with the principles of mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation. 

According to VOA, Biden's State of the Union speech lasted about one hour, focusing on American democracy, the economy, the Russia-Ukraine conflict, abortion, immigration and border issues, and the Israel-Palestine conflict. He briefly mentioned China in a section on foreign relations.

Domestic economic issues were the key focus of Biden's address, in which he tried to boast about his achievements in an attempt to belittle China's economic development.

"For years, all I've heard from my Republican friends and so many others is China's on the rise and America is falling behind. They've got it backward. America is rising. We have the best economy in the world," Biden said.

"We want competition with China, but not conflict. And we're in a stronger position to win the competition for the 21st century against China or anyone else for that matter," he said.

But Chinese experts debunked his bragging.

Although GDP growth in the US rose to 2.5 percent in 2023, the figure hides some very dangerous data - decline in investment, which shows that people who control capital in the US are not optimistic about its economic development, said Lü Xiang, research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

The economic numbers Biden mentioned could not hide the pressure he was under in the election, especially from widespread dissatisfaction with the economy, Lü told the Global Times on Friday.

Instead of picking a fight with China, Biden needs to pay attention to the feelings of his own public. Wall Street and Silicon Valley have taken most of the benefits of economic growth in the US, while a large number of people have become marginalized, Li told the Global Times.

"The quality of America's economic performance should be judged by the satisfaction of its own people rather than comparing it with China," Li said.

In recent years, due to the deliberate repression of the US, China's foreign investment has encountered challenges, but we are continuing to open up to the outside world and are committed to pursuing stable growth in an open environment, Lü said.