Report: China Wants Trump To Win Reelection Because He’s Destroying US Alliances
Bloomberg News reports that some Chinese officials have “come around to support four more years of [President Donald J.] Trump.”
- Trump has frequently argued that China would prefer Joe Biden to win the November 2020 presidential election.
- However, interviews with Chinese officials and other familiar with Chinese politics “point to a shift in sentiment in favor of the sitting president.”
- Although Trump has been strongly critical of China on fronts from trade imbalances to COVID-19, some of those interviewed believe that “the benefit of the erosion of America’s postwar alliance network would outweigh any damage to China from continued trade disputes and geopolitical instability,” Bloomberg writes.
- Zhou Xiaoming, a former Chinese trade negotiator and former deputy representative in Geneva, said, “If Biden is elected, I think this could be more dangerous for China, because he will work with allies to target China, whereas Trump is destroying U.S. alliances.”
- Four current officials, speaking anonymously, echoed the sentiment. Bloomberg writes that they believe “a Trump victory could help Beijing by weakening what they saw as Washington’s greatest asset for checking China’s widening influence”: foreign alliances.
Trump’s “America First” policies have created… frictions in capitals that have traditionally been friendlier to the U.S., as he levies tariffs on key trading partners, presses allies for greater spending on collective defense, withdraws from multilateral agreements, and supports the U.K.’s break from the Europe Union. Chinese officials privately acknowledge that a Democratic administration might prove more formidable if it worked with allies to present a united front.
- Opposition to China has become increasingly bipartisan. Even Biden, who previously has promoted an “engagement” strategy with the nation, recently referred to President Xi Jinping as a “thug” and accused China of “predatory” trade practices.
- Meanwhile, more “nationalistic-tinged criticism of the U.S.” is circulating online, Bloomberg reports.
- Wang Huiyao, an adviser to China’s cabinet and founder of the Center for China and Globalization said, “Trump has destroyed a lot of goodwill… there were a lot of people who were pro-U.S., but they are now sympathetic to the hard-liners.”
- Wang said that he felt there were three arenas Biden might be willing to cooperate on, however: “He supports working on topics like climate change, [World Trade Organization] reform, and TPP [Trans-Pacific Partnership].”
On a more personal level, some Chinese officials involved in trade negotiations with the Trump administration support a Biden victory simply so they can spend more time with their families, according to one person familiar with their thinking. China’s trade team shows up to work looking exhausted, the person said.