Under the Trump administration, the US has put sanctions on Chinese officials over human rights issues in Xinjiang and Hong Kong while also increasing engagement with Taiwan, including arms sales. A trade deal to end a protracted tariff war has stalled and the US has placed more restrictions on Chinese state media.
Biden, who in a presidential debate referred to the Chinese leader, Xi Jinping, as one of several “thugs” Trump has cosied up to, has also promised to take a strong stance against China. “The China-US relationship will not go back to where it was before,” said Cheng Xiaohe, an associate professor of international relations at Renmin University in Beijing. “The relationship is so bad.” It is a view shared in the US. “Regardless of who wins the US presidential election, we should expect to see increasing US-China tensions across a broad range of economic, political, geo-strategic, human rights and people-to people issues for the years to come,” said Wendy Cutler, former acting deputy at the Office of the US Trade Representative, focusing on Asia.