Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

Biden Tells China to Pushback at Beijing

Posted by w_thames_the_d on December 5, 2013


Excerpt from Caixin

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, stopping in China as part of a six-day tour of Asia, used the backdrop of a line of Chinese visa seekers to spin his idea of the American Dream.

Mr. Biden, who dropped by the U.S. Embassy in Beijing early Wednesday afternoon immediately after his arrival, addressed the characteristically long line of Chinese snaking their way into the embassy’s busy three-story visa section by recalling a conversation with former Singaporean leader Lee Kwan Yew.

What is in America’s “black box” that allows it to remake itself every generation or so, Mr. Lee asked according to Mr. Biden. Two things: a never-ending pool of immigrants, who bring fresh ideas, and an in-your-face attitude towards authority.

Implanted in the “DNA of every American,” Mr. Biden told the attentive visa seekers through a translator, is the idea of “challenging the status quo.”

Not content to let the U.S. dominate the dream discussion, the new Communist Party leadership has lately promoted the notion of a China Dream, described by state media as a “great rejuvenation” of the Chinese nation. The rejuvenation is intended to be powered in part by innovation – an area, Mr. Biden noted, where the U.S. remains dominant.

“We’re constantly looking” for bright young people, Biden said, inviting the students in the crowd to not only see the U.S. but stay.

“Innovation can only occur when you breathe free,” he added, implicitly criticizing China’s state-controlled research system. “Challenge the government.”

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