Come on, man. I suppose this counts as progress in the Joe Biden era, but only with the lowest of bars. Earlier today, the new president warned in a press spray with Kamala Harris that the US needs to start spending big money on infrastructure and “the environment” just to keep up with China. “If we don’t get moving,” Biden warned, “they’re gonna eat our lunch.”

Oh, the things we learn …

The best defense of this statement, at least from a pro-Biden standpoint, is that China’s come a long way in less than two years. In May 2019, then-candidate Biden scoffed at Donald Trump’s adversarial trade policies with China and concerns that Beijing had developed into an economic competitor with the United States. “Come on, man!” Biden exclaimed in rebutting that statement:

Mitt Romney proved prescient at that time, just as he turned out to be on Russia seven years earlier:

So what are we to believe? That China developed into an economic threat since May 2019, or Joe Biden was clueless or worse at that time?

For what it’s worth, don’t rely too much on this as a conversion statement. Biden isn’t saying this to warn that we need to get tough on China, especially on its theft of intellectual property and reliance on industrial espionage for technology acquisition. He’s just citing China in order to justify massive spending on infrastructure and his quasi-Green New Deal spending. It’s a sales pitch, not an awakening.

The only clear conclusion we can reach from this is that Xi Jinping will be eating a lot of lunches at the White House for the next four years.