As President Joe Biden prepares to meet with Chinese president Xi Jinping on Monday, Rep. Michael McCaul (R., Texas), who sits on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, worries that the president is not "capable" of standing up to China.
"[Biden must project] strength, and all he projects is weakness. And that invites aggression," McCaul told Fox News. "And that's why we're in so much trouble."
Biden will meet with Xi ahead of the G20 Heads of State and Government Summit in Bali, Indonesia, to set expectations with China as tensions rise over Taiwan and Russia's war with Ukraine, the White House announced Thursday. McCaul said Biden is incapable of projecting strength in these kinds of meetings.
McCaul is not the first to point out the president's weak diplomacy. Rep. Mike Rogers (R., Ala.), ranking member on the House Armed Services Committee, and other U.S. defense strategists blasted Biden in January for not nominating an ambassador to Ukraine a month before Russia's invasion, the Washington Free Beacon reported.
"That explains why we have so many hotspots. And it's dangerous, quite frankly," McCaul said. "I mean, when you look at Putin invading Ukraine and China's Xi doing a war game at the Pentagon with China and Taiwan. Actually it's frightening. And I would hope he's projecting deterrence to aggression and strength. But this administration doesn't seem capable of doing that."
When asked in a Wednesday press conference about the United States' commitment to Taiwan, Biden promised reporters he will "have that conversation" with Xi. He added that he is "not willing to make any fundamental concessions" to Xi and that he is "looking for competition, not … conflict." In September, Biden said the United States would defend Taiwan if China invades, an unusually explicit statement that the White House later downplayed.
Biden's weakness on the international stage extends beyond China, McCaul told Fox. McCaul said Biden's failure to reinforce the Trump-era Abraham Accords, which strengthened relationships between Arab nations and Israel, is "detrimental to U.S. national security."
"And this administration has done nothing to advance the Abraham Accords. In fact, everything they've done is damaged it. And that's peace in the Middle East," McCaul said.
Leading up to the G20 summit, Biden will meet with U.N. officials in Egypt to discuss the "the global climate fight" and attend a summit for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Cambodia.