Despite Trade War And Anti-Chinese Rhetoric, China Wants President Trump To Get Reelected In 2020 – Here’s Why
John Bolton’s memoir has sold more than 780,000 copies in all formats in its first week on sale in the U.S. As the 27th United States National Security Advisor from 2018 to 2019 who became one of the fiercest critics of President Trump, it’s not hard to see why his book – “The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir” – sold like hot potatoes.
Both Trump and Bolton are right-wingers but also Vietnam War evaders, then called 'Chickenhawks' (boisterously and vocally brave but only with others' blood)
The book was so damaging that the Trump administration attempted to block its publication on national security grounds, but the publisher went ahead with its launch on June 23 anyway. In fact, the publisher expects the book to be at the top of the bestseller lists in not only the United States, but also the United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada.
One of the dark secrets revealed by Bolton in his memoir was the allegation that Donald Trump had explicitly asked Chinese President Xi Jinping’s help to win re-election. Sacked by President Trump in September over policy differences, Bolton also said that the U.S. president had expressed his willingness to halt criminal investigations to give “personal favours to dictators he liked.”
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As an insider of Trump administration, Bolton wrote that during his former boss’ conversations with China’s President – “Trump then, stunningly, turned the conversation to the coming U.S. presidential election, alluding to China’s economic capability and pleading with Xi to ensure he’d win.” Beijing, of course, said China has no intention of interfering with the elections or internal affairs of America.
To the outside world, Trump appears to be highly critical of Beijing’s oppressive treatment and mass detention of Muslim Uighurs in China’s Xinjiang province. However, according to Bolton, during the G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan, Trump gave Xi his blessing – “Trump said that Xi should go ahead with building the camps, which Trump thought was exactly the right thing to do.”
Indeed, Trump has spent much of the past four years blaming the Chinese for everything – from U.S. trade imbalances to Covid-19 pandemic. As a result, the U.S. president started a trade war in 2018, which later expanded to tech war specifically targeting Chinese tech giant Huawei, between the world’s two largest economies and the world’s two superpowers.
Trump’s anti-Chinese sentiments continued when he blamed China for the Coronavirus outbreak in the U.S., despite the fact that it was him who had played down and mishandled the crisis. He called it the “Chinese virus” and even claimed to have evidence (which he could not produce, of course) that the infectious virus originated from a virology lab in Wuhan.
As his approval rating drops like a rock for his mishandling of Covid-19 and mismanagement of police brutality protests and riots in the killing of George Floyd, a 46-year-old African American who died after a 44-year-old white police officer – Derek Chauvin – knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes, Trump has now accused his challenger Joe Biden of pro-Beijing.
Trump’s re-election campaign has spent a whopping US$10 million in attack advertisement against Joe Biden, calling the Democratic nominee “Beijing Biden” for being too friendly toward China. When Biden was the U.S. Vice President, he said in a 2011 speech – “I believed in 1979 and I believe now that a rising China is a positive development,”
On the surface, China should have every reason to root for Biden and reject Trump. However, Chinese officials are actually very keen for Donald Trump to win the November, 2020 presidential election. Here’s why – President Trump has done a marvellous job in destroying U.S. post-war alliance network, which could help strengthen China’s position in the world.
Recent interviews with 9 current and former Chinese officials revealed the belief that the U.S. is more dangerous to China when it unites with its traditional allies – which could happen if Joe Biden becomes president in November. It’s widely believed that a Biden administration will seek to restore and strengthen the transatlantic alliance, especially with European countries.
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.” Obviously, Trump didn’t realise he was destroying the U.S. greatest asset when he picked fights with allies.
As far as the Chinese government is concerned, both Trump and Biden will not make any difference in terms of US-China relationship. The tensions will get worse. Under Trump, pro-business Republican party has become more hostile towards China in practically every sector of relationship, from China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea to trade, human rights and technology.
The so-called liberal Democratic party has shown that they will continue to be harsh on Beijing. Biden, for example, has not only described President Xi Jinping as a “thug”, but also praised the “extraordinary bravery” of democracy demonstrators in Hong Kong. Besides condemning Chinese “predatory” trade practices, Biden has slammed the mass detention of Muslim Uighurs.
Since taking office in 2017, Trump’s “America First” policy has isolated the U.S. from some of its closest allies. The U.S. president has threatened to slap tariffs on the European Union. He has clashed with allies United Kingdom and Canada over 5G contracts planned for Huawei. He has abandoned a nuclear deal with Iran that is backed by traditional allies, including the U.K., France and Germany.
Trump has started a war of words with French President Emmanuel Macron and withdrawn funding from the WHO (World Health Organization). He has also shown little interest in continuing the NATO alliance. Last month, Trump approved a plan to withdraw 10,000 U.S. troops from Germany because Trump said Germany has been “delinquent” in its payments for protection.
While the Congress is trying to block Trump’s plan to reduce its permanently stationed forces in Germany from 34,500 troops to 25,000 as the move would weaken NATO and conflict with U.S. national security interests, such actions are most welcome to China. Even Russia is happy with the U.S. troop withdrawal as it provides opportunity to Kremlin to increase its influence.
“Trump has destroyed a lot of goodwill. At the start of the trade war, there were a lot of people who were pro-U.S., but they are now sympathetic to the hardliners,” – said Wang Huiyao, an adviser to China’s cabinet and founder of the Center for China and Globalization. Trump has also done a splendid job in dividing and destroying America itself.
Overall, the benefit of the erosion of America’s alliance and influence thanks to Trump would outweigh any damage to China from continued trade disputes and geopolitical instability. The only compelling reason why Chinese officials want to see a Trump defeat is so that they can spend more time with their families. Trump’s trade war has caused them to work long hours.