Former Vice President Joe Biden claimed in a 2011 speech that the ascent of China was beneficial, not only to the world, but to the United States as well.

Biden, who in recent months has come under fire for his son’s business dealings with foreign governments, including the People’s Republic of China, made the remarks during a summit hosted at the White House to improve “strategic and economic” relations between the U.S. and Beijing.

“As a young member of [the] Foreign Relations Committee, I wrote and I said and I believed then what I believe now,” Biden said. “That a rising China is a positive, positive development, not only for China but for America and the world writ large.”

At the time of the remarks, China had just supplanted Japan as the world’s second largest economy – after the U.S. The development, which came shortly after China became the largest foreign holder of U.S. debt, only heightened fears the Communist power was relying on its cheap labor and unfair trade practices to undermine America.

Biden, however, did not address any of those concerns in his speech. Instead, he told the diplomats assembled that the future of the U.S. and China was intertwined, even arguing the relationship between the two nations would “help shape the 21st century.”

Biden said:

We’re linked by our shared global responsibilities. We both serve as permanent members of the United Nations Security Council. We’re both Pacific powers. And for many of the world’s pressing challenges, it’s a simple fact, that when the United States and China are not at the table, the solution to the problem is less possible than when we are at the table.

Biden continued to peddle a soft stance on China, even after leaving the Obama administration. Earlier this year, the former vice president scoffed at the notion China was an economic threat while campaigning in Iowa.

“I hear these stories about how China is going to eat our lunch. Give me a break!,” Biden said, before adding, “they’re not bad folks.”

“Come on, man …They can’t figure out how they are going to deal with the corruption that exists within the system,” he said. “I mean, you know, they’re not bad folks, folks. But guess what: they’re not competition for us.”

The remarks quickly drew widespread rebuke from both those on the right and left. Many, though, also noted that the former vice president’s youngest son, Hunter Biden, had negotiated lucrative business deals with a Chinese company later identified as having ties to the Communist regime in Beijing.

As Peter Schweizer, a senior contributor at Breitbart News, revealed in his bestselling book Secret Empires: How the American Political Class Hides Corruption and Enriches Family and Friends, Hunter Biden inked a $1.5 dollar deal with a subsidiary of the state-owned Bank of China only ten days after he visited the country with his father aboard Air Force Two in 2013.

In a SiriusXM Breitbart News Tonight radio interview from last year, Schweizer explained how the Biden-China deal unfolded:

“In December of 2013, Vice President Joe Biden flies to Asia for a trip, and the centerpiece for that trip is a visit to Beijing, China. To put this into context, in 2013, the Chinese have just exerted air rights over the South Pacific, the South China Sea. They basically have said, ‘If you want to fly in this area, you have to get Chinese approval. We are claiming sovereignty over this territory.’ Highly controversial in Japan, in the Philippines, and in other countries. Joe Biden is supposed to be going there to confront the Chinese. Well, he gets widely criticized on that trip for going soft on China. So basically, no challenging them, and Japan and other countries are quite upset about this.”

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