China’s Dilemma Part 1: Biden vs. Trump – Who’s the Lesser ‘Bowl of Poison’?
The Chinese government’s calculations for the upcoming U.S. presidential election, which is shaping to be a rematch between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump, are complex.
The Trump administration implemented unprecedentedly strong policies against China, including imposing up to 25% additional tariffs on about 40% of Chinese imports, and the Biden administration is maintaining these policies while building a “friendshoring (supply chain alliance )” excluding China.
◇ AP “China sees two ‘bowls of poison’ in Biden and Trump and ponders who is the lesser of evils”
On the 30th (local time), the AP reported that China is anxiously contemplating who is the lesser of two evils between Biden and Trump, both of whom they see as “bowls of poison.”
China is concerned about the election campaign, in which President Biden and former President Trump, who are virtually confirmed as the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates, are likely to make strong remarks against China. This is because the election campaign could threaten the fragile improvements in U.S.-China relations created in recent months, including the summit between President Biden and President Xi Jinping held near San Francisco last November, AP explained.
The result of the election on November 5 is that regardless of which candidate wins, the Chinese government believes they will not be particularly friendly to China.
Zhao Minghao, a professor of international relations at Fudan University in Shanghai, China, said, “Regardless of who wins the U.S. election, from China’s perspective, they will be two ‘bowls of poison.'”
◇ Chinese government worries about Biden’s attempt to unite allies against China… Tensions over Biden’s remarks on ‘U.S. military intervention in the case of Taiwan conflict’
While President Biden is seeking areas of cooperation with China, such as climate change, China is concerned about his attempts to unify allies in the Indo-Pacific region against China and is also tense about his approach to the Taiwan issue after he repeatedly said that he would “have the U.S. military defend Taiwan in a conflict with China,” according to AP’s analysis.
Many U.S.-China analysts believe that the Chinese government may consider Biden, who is more stable than the unpredictable Trump, to be the lesser of two evils. Still, the AP reported that the Chinese government is concerned about the success of Biden’s forming a partnership with China.