On Friday, Joe Biden announced that former Obama Administration adviser John Podesta would join the White House to oversee the spending of $370 billion for the purpose of addressing so-called “global warming.” His appointment, however, has led to criticism from China hawks who warn that Podesta is too close to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
According to the Washington Free Beacon, Podesta had previously called for more Chinese investment in American infrastructure as far back as 2013, claiming that there are “great opportunities for Chinese firms to directly invest in this nation, to build American infrastructure, to create American jobs, and generate steady and handsome returns.”
“There’s also the ability for Chinese firms to invest here and learn best practices,” Podesta added 9 years ago, “and take those home to the tremendous and growing middle class market in China.”
But China has instead used its interventions in the American economy to commit mass espionage on a financial and personal scale. One report in 2017 determined that China was stealing at least $600 billion in trade secrets per year. China has also come under scrutiny for its ownership of the popular social media platform TikTok, which regularly farms users’ data and gives personal information to the CCP.
Podesta has also falsely claimed that China is actively combatting environmental pollution, saying in 2015 that China was “beginning to do a fair amount.” China is in fact the world’s leading polluter, primarily due to its rapid acceleration of coal consumption in the last 7 years, reaching a record high in 2020.
As such, Podesta’s long history of pro-China rhetoric has led to criticism from anti-China voices.
“It is no surprise that the Biden White House hired John Podesta, who has known links to China. This White House does not understand that Beijing is our enemy and a part of the New Axis of Evil,” said Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.). Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said that it is “unsurprising that Biden officials are entangled with the [Chinese Communist Party],” adding that much of the green energy sector, which Podesta is now set to oversee, “float[s] on Chinese money.”