Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.), chairman of the House Select Committee on China, said President Biden’s assumption that China will become less aggressive on the world stage as it deals with its own domestic issues is a “stupid bet.”
“The President has been making that argument. It’s a very dangerous argument, the idea that because Xi has domestic economic problems, he’s going to become less aggressive abroad. Since he said that initially in Vietnam, Xi has undermined the argument because he’s gotten more aggressive,” Gallagher said on Fox News on Wednesday.
“All we have done is normalized, an unprecedented tempo of pressure against Taiwan. And if we’re wagering the fate of the free world on the fact that Xi has to deal with domestic economic and demographic issues, that’s a stupid bet because it’s just as likely that Xi could get more aggressive in order to distract from those issues,” he continued.
His comments come as Biden meets with Chinese leader Xi Jinping on Wednesday in San Francisco. He said the two leaders agreed to resume military-to-military communication and deal with the influx of fentanyl into the U.S.
Despite mentioning several agreements made between the two, Biden referred to Xi as a “dictator” in off-the-cuff comments following his press conference on the topic.
Still, Biden praised the meeting’s outcome.
“I welcome the positive steps we’ve taken today,” Biden said.
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