Home » News » Trump or Biden, which candidate does China want in the White House?
News

Trump or Biden, which candidate does China want in the White House?

The suggestion that Democrats be lenient with China is a recurring political theme the president has revisited throughout his four years in office. Now, as Trump prepares to take on Biden for a second term, his administration is once again amplifying anti-China rhetoric.

Ahead of this week’s Republican National Convention, Trump’s campaign ad its agenda for the second term. The short document defines 10 fundamental priorities. Near the top of the agenda is “End our dependence on China”, right after “Jobs” and “End Covid-19”.

The campaign said it plans to bring back 1 million manufacturing jobs in China and hold the country “fully responsible for the spread of the virus around the world.”

Since Trump took office, relations between the two countries have lowest point in decades. Trump has waged a tariff war, sanctioned Chinese officials, angered Beijing with its support for Taiwan, and banned Chinese tech companies, including telecommunications giant Huawei.

Although concerns about China have become significantly more bipartisan in recent years, there remains an opinion among many in Washington that Chinese leaders would prefer a President Biden in 2021. It’s an idea that has received new impetus, after William Evanina, a senior US intelligence official. Beijing said in a statement last month that Beijing would rather Trump lose the election.

In an opening speech at the opening night of the Republican convention on Monday, former United Nations Ambassador and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley said Biden would be “great for Communist China “.

But experts say the reality is much more complex, and China’s leadership remains steadfastly divided over which candidate would best align with the country’s long-term strategic goals.

Mockery on social media

From Beijing’s perspective, Trump appears to have weakened America’s traditional alliances and international reputation. Chinese propaganda cited Trump’s response to the pandemic, who has now killed over 177,000 Americans, proof of the failure of the American political system and the weakness of world leadership.

On Chinese social media, Trump has been mockingly referred to as “Chuan Jianguo” or “Build Trump Country”, with users online claiming Trump is strengthening Chinese President Xi Jinping’s regime by destroying America. Although Trump has unleashed a wave of attacks on China in the form of tariffs, sanctions and bans, he has largely acted unilaterally, without the support of key allies.

“They know Biden will be multilateralist, whether it’s on trade, whether it’s security, whether it’s even human rights,” said Stephen Orlins, chairman of the National Committee on US-China Relations . “He will take a multilateral approach from China and these people are afraid of a Biden presidency.”

Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Osaka on June 29, 2019.
During Trump’s presidency, China had the opportunity to assert itself more on the international stage. After Trump announced withdrawal from the World Health Organization (WHO) Xi said China will provide $ 2 billion over two years to help the global pandemic response. China has progressed with a national security law in Hong Kong, hardened its position on Autonomous Taiwan, which China regards as an inseparable part of its territory, and has continued to press sovereignty claims in the disputed waters of the South China Sea.

According to Minxin Pei, professor of government at Claremont McKenna College and author of “China’s Crony Capitalism,” Biden would restore US support to multilateral organizations, including the WHO, while strengthening trade and the Treaty Organization’s military alliances. North Atlantic (NATO) – all of which China would compel.

Although Biden only mentioned China once his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention last week, he repeatedly condemned Trump for his weakness towards China. He called Xi a “thug,” and his campaign announcements claimed Trump had not held China responsible for the spread of the pandemic, amid suggestions that Chinese officials covered up the initial outbreak.
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks at the Democratic National Convention August 20 in Wilmington, Delaware.
Among Democrats 92 page party platform describing policies including healthcare, climate change and the economy, China is mentioned 22 times. The document describes how “Democrats will take aggressive action against China or any country that tries to undermine American manufacturing,” work with “allies to stand up to China,” condemn “China’s massive internment Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities “in Xinjiang, and apply sanctions to entities” responsible for undermining Hong Kong’s autonomy. ”
Biden wrote in an article from Foreign Affairs earlier this year, “China cannot afford to ignore more than half of the global economy. This gives us tremendous influence in shaping the rules of the road on everything from the environment to work, commerce, technology and transparency. reflect democratic interests and values. “

Susan Shirk, president of the 21st Century China Center at UC San Diego and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State under the Clinton administration, said China has “lost a lot of friends in Asia” using its economic power. to force other countries to approve the Chinese Line. “If there is a Biden administration, building a stronger coalition in Asia will be much easier.”

Trump’s unpredictability

But while a Biden presidency would be a challenge for Beijing, Trump presents something quite different for risk-averse leaders in Beijing: volatility.

In a recent American intelligence report compiled by senior official Evanina, Trump’s “unpredictability” was cited as a reason China would prefer Biden.
When Trump first took office, he sang Xi’s praises after had dinner together in his estate in Mar-a-Lago, Florida. But that didn’t stop him from alternating between targeting threats against China and announcing that he and Xi “love each other.”

Experts say this kind of unpredictability increases the risk of military escalation, in areas where interests overlap, like the South China Sea, the East China Sea and Taiwan.

“We don’t have good communication and crisis prevention with China like we did with the Soviet Union during the Cold War,” Shirk said. “So it’s a very dangerous situation.”

The American-Chinese struggle began with trade.  Now that's the only thing that still works for them
Chinese state media called Biden “more fluid” to process, creating a space for cooperation on major international issues such as climate change and nuclear non-proliferation. Henry Wang, a Chinese cabinet adviser and founder of the Center for Globalization, said under a Biden administration there would be more opportunities for dialogue.

Pei said dividing Chinese attitudes towards Trump and Biden depended on whether Beijing officials took a short-term or long-term view. Those with a long-term view prefer Trump because they see him as incompetent and incapable of rallying allies, thus giving China more leeway. Another four years of Trump would lead to more internal divisions in America, reducing his ability to successfully wage a long-term struggle against China, Pei said.

“The Biden administration can design a long-term strategy that is sustainable, multilateral with the support of an ally, that will in fact contain Chinese power, much more effectively for the next two to three decades,” said Pei. .

Those who focus on the short term would prefer Biden, as he would put a break in the rapidly deteriorating relationship. “A Biden administration will most likely take a break from what I call this demolition process,” said Pei. It is not in the best interests of the United States to demolish the most important relationship in the world. ”


Source link