Election 2020

“Trump is destroying U.S. alliances”

SK Ashby
Written by SK Ashby

Having spent most of his first term in office attacking China's sovereignty and their economy, would China's ruling party like to see Trump voted out of office this November?

Maybe not according to current and former Chinese officials who spoke to Bloomberg off the record. They say their current thinking is that Trump is doing more damage to the United States and western alliances as a whole than he is to China so the net effect is a benefit to them.

Interviews with nine current and former Chinese officials point to a shift in sentiment in favor of the sitting president, even though he has spent much of the past four years blaming Beijing for everything from U.S. trade imbalances to Covid-19. The chief reason? A belief 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. [...]

“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,” said Zhou Xiaoming, a former Chinese trade negotiator and former deputy representative in Geneva. Four current officials echoed that sentiment, saying many in the Chinese government believed a Trump victory could help Beijing by weakening what they saw as Washington’s greatest asset for checking China’s widening influence.

I don't necessarily like the idea of Biden being more confrontational with China and I believe ending Trump's trade war is essential to economic recovery from Trump, but I also think that electing him is the pathway to avoiding a second Cold War.

A second term for Trump could ensure we enter a Cold War with China because the diplomatic and economic alliances Trump is destroying are the best way to avoid it.

That is why we established an international system of free trade and diplomatic relations after the second World War, after all -- to avoid more wars. Trump has spent years eroding or dismantling these systems. He has repeatedly threatened the United Nations and the World Trade Organization and, in the latter's case, he more or less crippled the global trade body by blocking the appointment of any new judges to its appellate court. Trump did this because the WTO occasionally rules in China's favor even if they also rule for the United States over 80 percent of the time.

All told, China's thinking on Trump's reelection is easy to understand. He's destroying us from within so why get in his way?

The word of nine officials probably shouldn't be seen as the ruling party's official position, but it makes sense. And it's ironic, isn't it? There are several anti-China Hawks in Trump's inner circling including his top trade adviser Ron Vara Peter Navarro, but those buffoons may have ultimately helped China more than hurt them.