Chinese President Xi Jinping is hoping Americans are happy idiots, willing to look past decades of Chinese economic malpractice and a crushing pandemic the Chinese Communist Party unleashed on the world in the name of global congeniality.

To avoid so-called “confrontation,” Xi urged President Joe Biden’s administration Monday to reverse the Trump administration’s economic restrictions on China and forgo its plans to build a Western coalition to push back on Beijing.

“To build small circles or start a new Cold War, to reject, threaten or intimidate others, to willfully impose decoupling, supply disruption or sanctions, to create isolation or estrangement, will only push the world into division and even confrontation,” Xi said.

Behind the platitudes and veiled threats, Xi is sending the United States and our allies a clear message: Turn a blind eye, and play nice.

But make no mistake, if we were to go back to playing nice with the Chinese Communist Party, we would be acquiescing to a tyrant who cares nothing for his people — not to mention the citizens of the United States — who he relies on to consume and fuel his economy.

We have to keep at the forefront of our minds Xi’s true goal — to see China replace the United States as the world’s superpower. To that end, Xi doesn’t want anything or anyone to disrupt his sizzling economy, nor his absolute, despotic control over his people.

“It serves no one’s interest to use the pandemic as an excuse to reverse globalization and go for seclusion and decoupling,” Xi said Monday.

It’s a convenient statement for Xi. By many measures, the coronavirus has been one of the biggest boons to the Chinese economy and has emboldened a Chinese Communist Party that now knows how far they can bully people without dissent, either within China’s borders or around the globe.

China was the only major economy in the world to claim economic growth in 2020. Compare that with the global economy, which contracted 3.5 percent last year — the worst peacetime contraction since the Great Depression. In the last quarter of 2020, China reclaimed its pre-coronavirus growth trajectory.

While America and other developed economies look to regain footing this year, the Chinese economy is expected to be hot. This past Tuesday, the International Monetary Fund said it expects China’s economy to grow 8.1 percent in 2021, outpacing its expectations for the U.S. economy some 3 percent this year and the Euro-area by nearly 4 percent.

Last November, Beijing entered a trade agreement with 14 nations, solidifying a relationship that represents one-third of the global economic output. That has resulted in the economies of Australia and other nations backfilling holes. Just this month, China surpassed the United States as the world’s top destination for new foreign direct investment.

But more than anything, the communist party leader desperately wants us all to forget his government’s role in the spread of the coronavirus, the human rights abuses that followed, and the propaganda misrepresenting China’s role for personal political ends.

Xi doesn’t want you to recall the late Chinese Dr. Li Wenliang, who first warned the world about coronavirus and who the Chinese government detained, questioned, and forced to sign a document confessing that he spread illegal rumors. Xi doesn’t want you to recall CCP officials welding potentially infected Wuhan residents into their apartment buildings, or jailing journalists who exposed Chinese officials.

Finally, Xi definitely wants you to forget that China intentionally allowed COVID-19 to spread throughout the world by shutting down domestic travel two full months before they did the same for international travel. From January to March 2020, it was easier for an infected person to travel from Wuhan to London than from Wuhan to Beijing.

To ratchet back pressure on China would not simply be a tacit acceptance of their human rights abuses and refusal to play by the same trade practices and standards, but a full-throated embracing.

Republicans and Democrats in Congress, along with the Biden administration, should work together to continue the progress we’ve made. We should view and treat Xi and the Communist Chinese Party for what they are — a grave threat to America, its people, and those that love democracy, cherish freedom, and value human life.

This opinion piece appeared in the Federalist