Ric Grenell, the former acting director of national intelligence during the Trump administration and onetime U.S. ambassador to Germany, wasn't thrilled — from an optics standpoint — to see China beat the Americans with a comprehensive peace proposal for the Russia-Ukraine war.
"This is infuriating for those of us who've been working at the State Department for a long time, who care about peace, who try to avoid war," Grenell told Newsmax Friday afternoon, while appearing on "John Bachman Now" with hosts John Bachman and Bianca de la Garza.
"We know China's disingenuous. We're very clear-eyed about the fact that China's helping Russia. But they just embarrassed the United States on the world stage, because China jumped out with a peace plan," said Grenell, while adding, "Some of the peace points in the plan are good. Great starters."
Conversely, "We have to be very clear-eyed about the fact the Chinese are not serious peace negotiators. They are playing for the Russians, and we have to be very careful on that," lamented Grenell.
With China going public on its 12-point peace proposal, Grenell says the Biden administration will be obliged to react, instead of leading from out front.
The Chinese are at least trying to "pretend" they want peace, reasoned Grenell.
The situation in "Taiwan tells us that China isn't serious about peace," said Grenell. "I've been calling for weeks for [Secretary of State] Antony Blinken to actually do something. He's got his own plane. Fly to all sorts of capitals in Europe, and try to put together a peace plan."
Grenell said he disagrees with The Wall Street Journal editorial board's contention that there's no value in negotiating peace terms in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, perhaps due to the presence of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"Of course, it's worth seeking a peace plan," countered Grenell. "The United States of America should be the country that stands for peace. ... But now, we're going to have to react to the Chinese. This is awful."
Friday marks the first anniversary of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine. During his Newsmax interview, Grenell was asked to forecast what the future might hold with this ongoing war.
"The American taxpayers are giving billions of dollars to this. We need to have diplomats that are serious ... instead of letting the Chinese outmaneuver us," said Grenell, while criticizing the State Department and other governmental agencies for being "late on sanctions" and pursuing "half-measures" during times of crisis throughout the world.
"There's no strategy with this team, and it has to stop," said Grenell. "We should be at the forefront of leading the world with a peace plan."
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