torsdag 7. mars 2024

Why China Is Rooting for Trump

Remembering how the world looked before Donald Trump became the U.S. president in January 2017 paints a striking picture. At that time, the idea that Beijing poses a threat to global security was not a mainstream one in Washington. Imposing tariffs on European imports seemed inconceivable. And controls on technology exports—which had fallen into progressive disuse since the end of the Cold War—were the realm of a tiny niche of policy wonks.

For better or for worse, there is no denying that Trump changed the world, especially when it comes to relations between the United States and China. Given Trump’s incendiary rhetoric about Beijing—including his promise to escalate the U.S.-China trade war—it is easy to believe that Chinese leaders would prefer incumbent U.S President Joe Biden over Trump, who will likely be the Republican Party candidate.

Yet this view is probably shortsighted, and it eclipses the broader picture. In all likelihood, China is rooting for Trump. Beijing knows that there is no hope for an improvement in its ties with Washington, whether under Trump, Biden, or any other U.S. president. From the perspective of Beijing’s long game vis-à-vis the West, Trump’s return to the White House may well turn out to be in China’s favor, at least in the economic field. Here are five reasons why.