The defeat of Trump in November is very important for China: Beijing is betting on Biden’s victory, hoping to soften the confrontation between the two superpowers. This has been said for a long time – both by the Americans and many outside observers. Moreover, far-reaching conclusions are drawn from this, including on various topics, even indirectly related to this “fact”: for example, on the disagreements between Moscow and Beijing. Like, the Russians want a second Trump term, and the Chinese want Biden.
Although in reality there is no basis for such claims, simply because Xi Jinping understands that American policy towards China will not change from whoever wins the November elections. If Trump is hinting that Biden is a “Chinese candidate,” just as Democrats call the current owner of the White House “Putin’s candidate,” then this is only a pre-election trick. And if the fables about Trump’s “Russian connections” over the past four years have fed up with the Americans, the “Chinese bet on Biden” is selling much better in the United States. Over the years, the number of Americans who see China as a threat to the United States has grown – and therefore Trump’s portrayal of Biden as a man incapable of taking a hard line against China hits hard the already weakening position of “sleepy Joe.” And in the democratic camp they decided to work with Biden’s image – to show that his approach to Beijing is not at all compromising.
This is how one can assess the article that appeared recently in The Wall Street Journal with the telling title “What is Biden’s new policy towards China? It is very similar to Trump.” Its pathos is that in the event of a victory, Biden will generally continue the policy of pressure on Beijing. One of Biden’s campaign advisers, Kurt Campbell, bluntly stated that “basically the Democratic Party recognizes that Trump has, by and large, accurately diagnosed China’s predatory behavior.”
Biden’s headquarters even refused to guarantee the lifting of Trump-imposed trade duties, although the former vice president himself had previously called the trade war launched by Trump suicidal. That is, what happens: disagreements between Democrats and Republicans only on the tactics of the conflict with China?
In fact, yes. Democrats don’t like how Trump does things, not what exactly he does. As the same Campbell said, “The implementation of his strategy for negotiation and competition is simply horrible.” It is clear that Biden, according to the Democrats, will do better, he is such an experienced statesman.
For example, Biden intends to forge close contacts with US allies to bring concerted pressure to bear on Beijing.
“Trump would be much more successful, he said, if he cooperated with other countries rather than waging trade wars with Europe, Canada, Mexico, South Korea and Japan.”
That is, let’s unite with the whole world and attack China? But that’s exactly what Trump is proposing – mostly, however, through the mouth of his Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Another thing is that, although Trump is putting pressure on Europe to force it to weaken ties with China, for him personally, the interests of the United States as a nation state come first, therefore he is ready to enter a trade war with Europe, and Biden is much more will focus on the interests of a crumbling, but collective West. Well, from the point of view of Beijing, such a line is much more dangerous, if under Biden the States try to unite the entire Western world against China (by making concessions to Europe for this), then it is more profitable to continue the confrontation with the lonely Trump.
Beijing does not stake in the American duel, because they understand that, no matter how the elections end, the confrontation will only grow. According to one of the key American analysts, the head of the Council on Foreign Relations Richard Haas, “regardless of who wins, the US policy towards China in the next five years will be tougher than in the previous five years. China has changed, as has the perception USA on China “.
There is one fundamental flaw in this indisputable claim: it was not China that changed, but the United States. Yes, the tightening of their Chinese policy began under Obama – Trump only raised the stakes. But it was the traditional American establishment, the collective Biden, who for decades preferred to deal with fictitious rather than real China. For some reason, this fictional China was supposed to become a part of the Western world over the years.
“For more than 40 years, bipartisan presidents and heads of multinational corporations have tried to achieve China’s integration with both the United States and the world. They believed that this would benefit Washington and contribute to globalization, as Beijing would follow the global rules.