China is apprehensive about the potential resurgence of Trump

 


 Amid America's bustling political scene last week, marked by pivotal moments like Super Tuesday voting and President Joe Biden's State of the Union address, China was engaged in its own political spectacle. Thousands of delegates from across the nation gathered in Beijing for a ceremonial meeting to approve the Communist Party-led government's annual agenda, focusing on domestic priorities and extolling the leadership of Xi Jinping.


However, underlying this gathering was the shadow of the forthcoming US presidential election, with the likelihood of former President Donald Trump challenging Biden in November. Chinese leaders refrained from openly discussing the American election during the Beijing event, but the urgency to transform China into a high-tech powerhouse was interpreted as a response to the Biden administration's technology restrictions and strained US-China relations.


While public statements remained restrained, behind closed doors, discussions likely delved into the potential implications of Trump's return, given his unpredictable nature compared to Biden. Trump's previous tenure witnessed significant trade tariffs that reshaped US-China relations, and his threat to escalate tariffs could lead to further economic decoupling, posing challenges for China's economy.


However, a Trump victory could also shift the geopolitical landscape, potentially easing pressure on China as the US and its allies unite against perceived threats. Chinese policymakers are likely conducting scenario analyses to understand the risks and opportunities associated with either candidate's victory, particularly concerning Taiwan, global power expansion, and economic stability.


Trump's initial engagement with Xi in 2017 hinted at potential cooperation, but subsequent trade tensions strained relations. Trump's current campaign rhetoric suggests a continuation of tough measures against China, including significant tariffs, posing further uncertainty for Chinese exports and economic stability.


On the other hand, Biden's approach is seen as more stable, albeit with sustained tariffs and stricter controls on technology transfers. His emphasis on alliances in Asia and Europe presents challenges for China's global ambitions, particularly in light of its high-tech development and regional dominance goals.


Ultimately, regardless of the election outcome, China anticipates continued confrontation and pressure from the US, necessitating strategic responses to safeguard its interests.

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