By David K. Shipler
Thanks to Russian hackers, we have a transcript of a startling portion of President Joe Biden’s video conversation last night with Chinese President Xi Jinping:
Xi: Joe, as you know, I was honored recently to be elevated in history to the esteemed stature of our Communist Party’s two great leaders, Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping. This act signifies one of our most envied powers: to rewrite history. Leaders all over the world wish they could do it.
Biden: Yes, I noticed, but we Americans don’t envy that at all. We like our history plain and truthful.
Xi: Oh, do you? I have been admiring the skill of your Republicans in rewriting your history of racial oppression to indoctrinate children in the phony purity of your past. And this, just at the time when you accuse us of oppressing some of our people! That’s called hypocrisy, Joe.
Biden: Look, man, that’s a long discussion that has nothing to do with our agenda. Let’s get down to the issues. Taiwan is next on the list.
Xi: Exactly. Taiwan is my subject here. I have a bold idea, which I hope you’ll accept. Taiwan is a thorn in my side—not really part of my empire, not really independent, constantly making breakaway noises, and full of so-called democrats who love chaotic debate and discord. And who, by the way, will never rewrite history properly.
Biden: So why don’t you just let Taiwan be Taiwan?
Xi: Even better, let me give Taiwan to you.
Xi: Give it away. Then I won’t have to worry over it all the time. It’s really a pain. But I want something in exchange.
Biden: This is ridiculous.
Xi: You won’t think it’s ridiculous when you hear my proposal. You give me Texas.
Biden: [A funny noise that sounds like a snort, then a burble, then a chortle.] Wow, man, what an idea! We get Taiwan’s economy and great restaurants, and you get—hey, Texas is a bit recalcitrant. You sure you want it?
Xi: We have been studying Texas. The governor there claims to love individual liberty, but our autocracy experts can sniff out wannabe authoritarians. Greg Abbot would be our collaborator as much as Carrie Lam. And the rest of the Republicans, who still love incipient dictators like Trump, who just need to be flattered to become our lapdogs. And who don’t like free elections. And who don’t like public health—think Wuhan, Joe. They’ll fit right in.
Biden: Well, I don’t know about that. They’re pretty difficult people.
Xi: We have ways of taking care of difficult people.
Biden: But they have lots of guns.
Xi: Guns we can turn to our own use. All those swaggering cowboys looking for enemies, perfect matches with our Guoanbu agents. They’ll love each other. Brotherly love, Joe, a real peacemaking mission.
Biden: Hmmm. You know about our independent judiciary, right? Not exactly your style.
Xi: [Huge guffaw.] Independent? Come on, Joe, you don’t have to do propaganda with me. When was the last time you saw a Republican judge rule for the little guy? No, no danger there. I like their impulse to defer to the established authority. And we will be the established authority!
Biden: What about the judges who go against you?
Xi: Ask me that in a few months, and I’ll ask you back: What judges? Where are they?
Biden: I’ll admit, it’s an appealing idea. No more Greg Abbot, no more Ted Cruz, thirty-eight fewer electoral votes. And we get some great Chinese restaurants. But you get all that oil. What do we do for oil?
Xi: Switch to solar and wind, Joe! It’s what you’ve been campaigning for. We’ll just force you to make it happen!
Biden: Yeah, sounds good. But what about the border between Texas and the US? And how do I sell this to the American people?
Xi: Easy, Joe. You tell them you’ll build a wall around Texas, and that China will pay for it.
This is satire. It’s all made up, a disclosure made necessary by the absurdity of current reality, which prevents lots of people from telling the difference between truth and fiction.