By: Amy Jo Underwood
President Joe Biden declared the relationship between the U.S. and Russia a national emergency on Thursday and signed an executive order placing sanctions on Russia. Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated that sanctions were placed as a result of the SolarWinds cyberattack, bounties on U.S. soldiers, as well as interference in the 2020 Presidential Election. Later, a senior official in the Biden administration stated that the U.S. intelligence community had “low to moderate confidence” that the Russian government had bounties on U.S. soldiers. Meanwhile, the Biden administration has refused to formally address the relationship between the U.S. and China, despite multiple warning signs.
President Joe Biden signed more executive orders on Thursday, including a declaration of sanctions on Russia. The president stated that the situation between the United States and Russia was a national emergency, and that sanctions were needed to assert U.S. sovereignty.
The statement released by the White House said that its actions were driven by a response to Russia’s alleged cyberattack on the U.S. government, as well as reports of bounties on United States military members, and interference in the 2020 Presidential Election. The White House stated that it was acting to protect United States sovereignty and interests. Later, a senior official of the Biden administration informed the National Security Council that the U.S. intelligence community had “low to moderate confidence” that the Russian government placed bounties on U.S. soldiers and paid the Taliban to kill U.S. troops, despite claims made during the 2020 Presidential Election.
The Biden administration has not, however, taken steps to declare China as a threat to the United States, despite proof that the People’s Republic of China has continued to pursue goals that advance its national interests at the expense of United States security. Aside from the suspicious origins of the COVID-19 virus, there are proven threats toward the United States from China, mostly stemming from its foreign policy objective of world dominance.
China has continued to strengthen its military, while the United States continues to decrease military funding. Additionally, China signed a law in 2017 that requires all Chinese-owned businesses to turn over data if requested to do so by the Chinese Communist Party. That law impacts United States national security due to many individuals in the U.S. having Chinese-owned apps (such as TikTok) on their phones. China also has declared a goal of being the world’s biggest power in manufacturing by 2025, with a focus in technology.
However, the Biden administration has instead focused its sights on Russia, ignoring repeated red flags from China.
“We do not think that we need to continue on a negative trajectory [with Russia]. However, we have also been clear—publicly and privately—that we will defend our national interests and impose costs for Russian Government actions that seek to harm us. Today the Biden administration is taking actions to impose costs on Russia for actions by its government and intelligence services against U.S. sovereignty and interests.” - White House official statement, April 15, 2021
“We know that China is very aggressive, that they are testing the Biden administration. ...They are trying to build a Chinese empire, much like what you had with the old Soviet Union. And as I said, China, Russia, Iran, North Korea - this is your new axis of evil. This is where we have to keep our focus.” - Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)