Caitlin Johnstone: Biden Lies About ‘Not Surrounding’ China

The U.S. president isn’t trying to fool the Chinese government about the military buildup in the Pacific. His comments are aimed at the Western public and U.S. allies.

In Busan, South Korea, sailors greet arrival of the Ohio-class guided-missile submarine USS Michigan on June 16. (U.S. Navy/Michael Chen)

By Caitlin Johnstone

Listen to Tim Foley reading this article.

U.S. President Joe Biden had a recent interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria during which he defended his controversial decision to send cluster munitions to Ukraine and suggested that the U.S. can continually support Ukraine the way it supports Israel rather than adding it to the NATO alliance.

About halfway through the interview Biden said something about China that’s worth flagging, because the claim he makes is self-evidently false, and it’s not the first time he’s made it.

Describing the conversations he’s been having with China’s President Xi Jinping, Biden said the following:

“We’re going to put together the Quad which is India, Australia, the United States and Japan. I got a call from him [Xi] on that. He said why are you doing that. I said we’re not doing that to surround you, we’re doing that to maintain stability in the Indian Ocean and in the South China Sea. Because we believe the rules of the road about what constitutes international air space, international space and the water should be maintained.”

Biden uttered this same bogus talking point about not trying to surround China last month at the private fundraising event where he made headlines by calling Xi a “dictator”:

“But what he was really upset about was that I insisted that we — we reunite the Qu- — so-called Quad. He called me and told me not to do that because it was putting him in a bind. I said, All we’re doing — we’re not trying to surround you, we’re just trying to make sure the international rules with air and sea lanes remain open.”

Biden is lying. The U.S. is deliberately surrounding China with war machinery and has been for years, and has rapidly escalated its efforts to do so during Biden’s term. There are currently no fewer than 313 U.S. military bases in East Asia by the Pentagon’s own admission, with the Biden administration adding four new ones in the Philippines.

Biden’s war machine has been busy instituting the AUKU.S. alliance which is specifically set up to menace China, moving nuclear-capable bombers to Indonesia, signing a military deal with Papua New Guinea, working to station missile-armed marines at Japan’s Okinawa islands, staging provocations in Taiwan and getting into increasingly confrontational encounters with Chinese military vessels and aircraft off China’s coast as part of its dramatically increased military presence in the area.

So, of course, the U.S. is trying to surround China, as evidenced by the mountains of U.S. war machinery that are being moved into areas surrounding China. Biden can babble all he wants about wanting to secure sea lanes and protect international waters, but only a drooling idiot would believe the world’s most powerful empire is militarily surrounding its top geopolitical rival as an act of defense.

And Beijing is under no illusions about this. Xi said in a speech earlier this year that “Western countries — led by the U.S. — have implemented all-round containment, encirclement and suppression against us, bringing unprecedentedly severe challenges to our country’s development.”

So Biden isn’t trying to fool the Chinese government with his “We’re not trying to surround you” schtick — he’s trying to fool you. He’s trying to fool the western public and the allies of the United States, who would get spooked if the U.S. president openly admitted to a deliberate campaign of militarily encirclement against an economic superpower they all trade with extensively.

You simply cannot understand the geopolitics and major conflicts of the 2020s without understanding that the U.S. empire has been actively amassing military threats in the immediate surroundings of its top two rivals — China and Russia — that it would never tolerate anyone else amassing anywhere near the United States.

The single dumbest thing the U.S. empire asks us to believe nowadays is that surrounding its two biggest foes with war machinery is a defensive action, rather than an act of extreme aggression.

The best advice I can offer about U.S.-China tensions is to ignore the words and watch the actions. Ignore what officials say about wanting peace and not trying to surround China and supporting the One China policy etc. Just watch all the U.S. war machinery that’s being rapidly added to that region.

The U.S. empire is great at international narrative manipulation, but what they can’t spin away is the concrete maneuverings of solid pieces of war machinery, because they are physical realities and not narratives.

Caitlin Johnstone’s work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, following her on FacebookTwitterSoundcloudYouTube, or throwing some money into her tip jar on Ko-fiPatreon or Paypal. If you want to read more you can buy her books. The best way to make sure you see the stuff she publishes is to subscribe to the mailing list at her website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything she publishes.  For more info on who she is, where she stands and what she’s trying to do with her platform, click here. All works are co-authored with her American husband Tim Foley.

This article is from and re-published with permission.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

17 comments for “Caitlin Johnstone: Biden Lies About ‘Not Surrounding’ China

  1. Sam F
    July 15, 2023 at 06:22

    Claims of defense to disguise aggression are the hallmark of the tyrant militarist subverting democracy.
    The tyrant must wave the flag and praise tribal idols to demand power as defender of the tribe.
    The tyrant and the military must create threats to justify stealing most of the national discretionary budget.
    All US military interventions since WWII have been aggressions to please the wealthy and enrich militarists.
    Had the US been a democracy, it would then have lifted poorest half from poverty, ignorance, and disease.
    If we had done so, we would have no security problems. Even now we could do such things at any time.
    Instead it murdered twenty million, replaced socialist democracies with dictators, and ruined its security.
    The public has been fooled that this served national security interests, when in fact it destroyed US security.
    Our unregulated market economy lifts the worst to power, controlled by the rich via political party gangs.
    The rich, investors, and their aspirants, sycophants, and opportunists are traitors, the enemies of democracy.
    They are the only US security problem, and they must be removed from power by any and all means.

    1. We know why the USG has been producing endless fact-free scams and hate propaganda against Russia, with zero causes that they did not very deliberately create themselves.
    2. Those who control US mass media and social media are clearly those who control the government.
    3. The secret agencies are full of corrupt fanatics, a few with antique Brzezinski hatreds of Russia, but they are resurrecting those groundless hatreds because they were profitable in the cold war, not because they have reasons.
    There will be no improvement until government is isolated from money power, which has never been peaceful.

  2. Eric
    July 14, 2023 at 03:49

    “we believe the rules of the road about what constitutes international air space,
    international space and the water should be maintained.”

    One little problem: the United States has never signed on to the Law of the Sea agreement.
    So what rules does he mean? Oh, it’s the “rules-based order” again.
    Who sets those rules?

  3. Teen Angel
    July 13, 2023 at 16:19

    Can we forge a ‘Do Not Resuscitate Order”?

  4. Teen Angel
    July 13, 2023 at 16:18

    How can you tell Joe Biden is lying?
    When his lips are moving?

  5. Vera Gottlieb
    July 13, 2023 at 04:58

    The US is starting to bite off more than it can chew. Risk of choking…

  6. wildthange
    July 12, 2023 at 20:56

    The lies of western civilization abound over the centuries. The religious culture war is serious in this century because our sense of religious right to dominate the entire world is slipping away and we may have to learn to share the planet rather than take if over by clever, devious and military might. This divine right could collapse human civilization or just starve it to death by increasing military arms race or smother itself.

  7. robert e williamson jr
    July 12, 2023 at 19:54

    Anyone with half a brain should realize to what degree cognitive dissonance has become the hallmark of the aging American leadership.

    Leadership falling woefully short of achieving any social goals. The government now loaded with subservient useful idiots, many so mentally burnt out for all I know they are unable to think any longer for themselves. This observation certainly makes more sense to me than any other explanation.

    One lie after another to cover secret agendas seems to have taking it’s toll on individuals manifesting itself by turning officials into uncaring liars who have lost any sense of direction.

    Look at the current condition of the U.S. Marine Corp, no commandant for the first time in 160 years. That is not exactly progress now is it!

    Thanks Caitlin and the crew at CN

  8. Garrett Connelly
    July 12, 2023 at 17:42

    Fake news gives Americans plausible innocence.

    • Susan Siens
      July 13, 2023 at 14:43

      My acupuncturist had a German client who claimed to know nothing about what her country was doing in the 1930s and 1940s. I pointed out that Germany made no bones about invading other countries and seizing control of them, and there was no way her client could have ignored that.

  9. CaseyG
    July 12, 2023 at 15:35

    Compared to China, America is not a very old nation. The idea of America was a good one—-but where has that idea gone? Biden, like Bush the 2nd, those who have never been in a war so often seem to want to start wars.

    Joe Biden—- do not run again run again as sadly you are sans eyes, sans brains and sans hope. Trump, of course, should not run either, nor should DeSatan. Maybe the last time America sort of got it together was when Nixon had to leave the White House. Meanwhile , back in real America, citizens are jobless, homeless and very often hopeless.

  10. lester
    July 12, 2023 at 15:31

    Do Chinese-Americans, Chinese-Australians, have mass internment in their futures?

  11. susan
    July 12, 2023 at 13:28

    Biden Lies – Period!

    • Michael Chebo
      July 13, 2023 at 00:24

      Thank you

  12. Rudy Haugeneder
    July 12, 2023 at 13:09

    It’s spreading like a deadly virus with no antidote. And it has replaced rapid climate change in media coverage. The future — unfortunately a very near future — does, indeed, look exceptionally gloomy.

  13. K. Balasubramanian
    July 12, 2023 at 12:48

    “… narrative manipulation…”

    It’s for consumption by the muricans. No other country is buying it.

    • Andrew Nichols
      July 12, 2023 at 18:30

      “It’s for consumption by the muricans. No other country is buying it”

      Not true. Its the stifling BS narrative if all the Western Mainly White Minority World. eg Radio NZ just sacked a journo for editing Empire BS to tell the truth.

  14. Green Hornet
    July 12, 2023 at 12:45

    All American lies and secrecy are aimed at preventing Americans from not knowing what’s going on. After all, the Russians and the Chinese know exactly what evil lurks within the hearts of Americans, or a least the elites and their government of the elites, by the elites and for the elites. The Chinese and the Russians don’t need no Shadow to see and know what evil lurks there. The lies are all aimed at Americans, who must be kept in the dark about what all the huge taxes that they pay are really being spent upon.

Comments are closed.