fredag 30. oktober 2020

China would ‘probably prefer a Joe Biden presidency’ over Donald Trump, says former American ambassador to Beijing

After four years of unpredictability and US President Donald Trump tweeting “whatever is on his mind in the middle of the night”, China would probably prefer the relative stability that a Joe Biden presidency would bring, America’s former ambassador to Beijing says. The comments from Max Baucus – the top US envoy to China between 2014-17, and an adviser on China policy to Joe Biden’s presidential campaign – can be added to a maelstrom that views on whether Beijing would prefer four more years of Trump or a more ostensibly conventional White House, a debate which has raged for most of Trump’s first term.

Yet, sources inside China and experts on the country vary wildly in their perception of how the US election is viewed in Zhongnanhai, the Chinese leadership compound. In a wide-ranging interview with the South China Morning Post , Baucus acknowledged China would be “somewhat conflicted” ahead of next week’s election. But conversations with well-placed contacts in Beijing have led him to believe China would prefer more stable superpower ties.

“I think China finds Trump a bit of a nuisance, but they also find Trump leading the US down the primrose path of decline, which obviously helps China,” Baucus said, adding any remaining reformers within the Chinese government would also be emboldened by a “restoration of the resilience of American democracy”.