‘China Senses Weakness’: Mike Pence Calls On Biden To Press China On COVID-19 Origins, 2022 Olympics

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Anders Hagstrom White House Correspondent
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Former Vice President Mike Pence called on President Joe Biden to crack down on China and press the nation to be more transparent about the origins of COVID-19 on Tuesday.

Pence made the statement in an appearance with the Heritage Foundation, arguing that the Biden administration has been too soft on China for its continued lack of transparency surrounding the origins of COVID-19, Bloomberg News reported Tuesday. Evidence increasingly supports the theory that the virus leaked out of a coronavirus research lab in Wuhan, a theory many in the media derided as a conspiracy throughout 2020.

“Weakness arouses evil. China senses weakness in the new administration,” Pence said, adding that Biden should push China to “come clean” on the origins of the pandemic. (RELATED: State Department Releases Report Blasting China For Its Genocide Against The Uyghurs)

Chinese President Xi Jinping shake hands with President Joe Biden on Dec. 4, 2013 in Beijing, China. (Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

Chinese President Xi Jinping shake hands with President Joe Biden on Dec. 4, 2013 in Beijing, China. (Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

Pence also called on Biden to demand that the 2022 Olympic Games be moved out of Beijing unless the country opens up about COVID-19 and halts its ongoing genocide against Uyghur Muslims.

China has grown increasingly aggressive in its relations with the U.S. since Biden took office. The new administration’s first in-person meeting with Chinese officials in Alaska quickly became a theatrical affair when Chinese officials accused the U.S. of human rights abuses surrounding the Black Lives Matter Movement. Secretary of State Tony Blinken and national security adviser Jake Sullivan rebuffed the rhetoric, pointing to China’s ongoing genocide in Xinjiang and its destruction of democracy in Hong Kong.

Biden has framed the struggle between the U.S. and China as one that will determine whether democracy or autocracy will lead the world into the future. While his administration has said it has no plans to boycott the 2022 Olympics, it has also not taken the possibility off the table.

Blinken and Biden’s strategy for countering China relies heavily on bolstering international relations with key allies like Japan, Australia and India. Blinken testified to Congress soon after Biden’s inauguration that such alliances can cut off China’s ambitions on the global stage.

“The more China hears not just our opprobrium, but a chorus of opprobrium from around the world, the better the chance that we’ll get some changes,” Blinken said. “It would be very important if China claims that there is nothing going on that it gives access to the international community, to the United Nations. If they have nothing to hide, show it to us. Show the world.”