Trump vs. Biden: Analysts Weigh In on China’s Choice

Gun Rights

Chinese analysts have weighed in on whether President Joe Biden or former President Donald Trump would be most favorable as the next leader of the U.S.—with one expert telling Newsweek it was about selecting “the least worst candidate for China.”

“A new Trump administration would be set on proving its anti-China credentials,” wrote Wang Hao, associate professor at the Center for American Studies at Fudan University, in an article for Global China, a China-based media outlet. However, Wang said that short-termism by a Trump administration could weaken the American policy of containment.

Wang’s comments were translated and published by Thomas des Garets Geddes, associate fellow at London think tank Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies, in the China-focused specialist newsletter Sinification.

According to a poll conducted by Sinification, about 61 percent of the China watchers and analysts said they would prefer to see a Donald Trump presidency.

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“If there were to be a consensus among Chinese experts, it would be that whoever comes to power will not alter the overall direction of the US’s containment strategy against China. In other words, neither candidate augurs anything good for China. This is more about choosing the least worst candidate for China,” Thomas told Newsweek.

Trump/Biden
From left, Former President Donald Trump arrives at the National Rifle Association presidential forum at the Great American Outdoor Show on February 09, 2024, in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. President Joe Biden speaks in the State Dining…
From left, Former President Donald Trump arrives at the National Rifle Association presidential forum at the Great American Outdoor Show on February 09, 2024, in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. President Joe Biden speaks in the State Dining Room of the White House on February 13, 2024, in Washington, DC. Chinese experts have weighed on the implications of a second Biden presidency versus a second Trump presidency.

Spencer Platt/Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Wang believes that a second Trump presidency could offer China more advantages in that respect.

“The ‘maturing’ of Washington’s containment strategy towards Beijing (…) would have a greater impact on China’s economic and technological development,” Wang wrote.

“Short-termism under Trump would weaken the US’s current long-term containment strategy against China.”

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Another China expert took a different view.

“China hopes Trump loses because economic and trade relations are the only channel through which China can obtain tangible benefits from the US. While the alliance strategy implemented by the Biden administration posed a great challenge to China, it has not resulted in substantial damage to its interests,” Jin Jian Guo, a political commentator living in Shanghai, wrote in Singapore-based Chinese newspaper Lianhe Zaobao last month.

Guo wrote that one of the proposals that Trump could consider if reelected is the cancellation of China’s Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) status, which would damage the Chinese economy and overall U.S.-China relations.

“The US’s revocation of China’s PNTR status would spell a complete reset of US-China economic and trade relations, which is fundamentally different from the Biden administration’s stated approach of de-risking and avoiding decoupling,” Guo wrote.

Uncommon Knowledge

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

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