Biden the Paper Tiger

by Newt Gingrich

When Iran and its proxies attack and threaten U.S. assets and allies abroad, President Joe Biden has little more than tough talk.

When the sister of North Korea’s dictator personally insults Biden and threatens to “end” any regime which seeks to deter the North Korean nuclear weapons program ahead of a ballistic missile test, the White House is virtually silent.

At home, when millions of people illegally flood into our country, ignoring our borders and undermining our sovereignty, the Biden administration looks the other way and pretends nothing is wrong.  

As the world’s second largest economy and our greatest global competitor, you must wonder what China makes of Biden’s timidity.

My bet is Chinese Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping views Biden – and therefore America – the same as his predecessor would have.

Chinese Communist dictator Mao Zedong – whose infamous Cultural Revolution cost the lives of up to an estimated 8 million people in China – used the term “paper tiger.”

For context, in a 1956 interview, Mao described his contempt for the U.S. to American journalist and communist activist Anna Louise Strong:

“In appearance [America] is very powerful but in reality, it is nothing to be afraid of; it is a paper tiger. Outwardly a tiger, it is made of paper, unable to withstand the wind and the rain. I believe that it is nothing but a paper tiger.”

I get the sense Xi would say the same about Biden’s America.

Just consider the facts.

Xi is presently waging a methodical, illegal campaign to lay claim to the South China and East China seas and the vital international shipping routes therein. The People’s Liberation Army has built and armed dozens of artificial islands to control these unquestionably international waters. It also has armed fleets of fishing boat militias to terrorize and intimidate foreign merchant vessels which don’t’ recognize China’s claim on the waters.

Of course, this is merely step one for China’s full plan – taking and controlling Taiwan. Xi has been calmly watching Biden’s slow response to Russia’s vicious war on Ukraine and his empty threats toward Hamas’ barbarism in Israel. There is no doubt Xi is weighing the risks of his own invasion of Taiwan.

That would make our dangerous world far more dangerous – and potentially be the entry into World War III.

To be clear, the threat of a Chinese invasion of Taiwan has been looming for decades – long before Biden became president. However, in that time China has been laying groundwork and patiently waiting for a moment of Western weakness.

Under Xi’s leadership, China has orchestrated influence schemes across the globe through China’s Belt and Road Initiative, which saddles poor nations with massive debt in exchange for Chinese-built ports and transportation hubs. These grant China access to a wealth of resources, soft power in worldwide trade routes, and therefore a hand hold on global supply chains.

The Chinese Communist dictatorship has maintained a robust spying operation – which includes installing agents in U.S. government offices, flying spy balloons over critical infrastructure, stealing trade secrets from our biggest technology and defense companies, and infiltrating our institutions of higher learning. This spying operation is not solely focused on the U.S. Just this week suspected Chinese agents were arrested in the U.K. and Germany.

Xi’s China is presently supplying the building block chemicals to drug cartels to make fentanyl and other deadly street drugs that are crippling communities across America. Drug overdoses took the lives of a record 112,000 Americans in 2023 – nearly double the American casualties in the entire Vietnam War. This isn’t an accident or an unexpected consequence of normal trade.

All these measures – and many more – are planned, calculated steps to strengthen Communist China and weaken its opponents.

Of course, when Secretary of State Antony Blinken visits Beijing this week, he’s expected to admonish Xi and the Chinese Communist Party for China’s role in the drug epidemic – and its support of Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine.

Unless Blinken can deliver more than strong words, there’s a risk Xi will become convinced that Biden and his administration are paper tigers – and now is his moment of Western weakness.

That would be incredibly dangerous for America, our allies, and the world.

For more commentary from Newt Gingrich, visit Also, subscribe to the Newt’s World podcast.

Get Newt’s Latest Book:

Newt’s Latest Articles:

Newt’s Latest Podcasts: