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China should not be the focus of 2020 U.S. presidential elections [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2020-5-24 12:14:17 |Display all floors

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (R, back) tears up what appeared to be a copy of the president's speech during U.S. President Donald Trump's (front) State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C., the United States, February 4, 2020. /Xinhua

Editor's note: Sun Chenghao is an assistant research professor at the Institute of American Studies, under the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations based in Beijing. The article reflects the author's opinion, and not necessarily the views of CGTN.

Foreign policy would not normally dominate the campaign of U.S. presidential elections since the public pays much more attention to domestic policies like economic plans, healthcare reform, tax and immigration policies. Therefore, China has seldom become the focus of the campaign season in the past.

But this year is different. After calling the COVID-19 the "Chinese virus," U.S. President Donald Trump along with his campaign team are attempting to use China as a weapon to attack his major rival, former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden.

The direct reason for Trump to bash China is to find a scapegoat for his failure in tackling the pandemic. After the initial "rally round the flag effect" that boosts Trump's public support during the national crisis, his approval rating is dropping while coronavirus pandemic drags on.

According to the average poll released by RealClearPolitics, Trump hit his all-time high of 47.3 percent on March 31, but has dipped to 44.9 percent on April 13. Trump needs to find an external excuse to distract the public from the domestic uneasiness and frustration.

Although the White House still needs to maintain a relatively benign climate to cooperate with China on combating the pandemic, out of fear of alienating a country that helps supply medical equipment to America, Trump's Republican allies in the Congress never cease to make waves on the China issue. Some hawkish Republicans have made groundless accusations and asked the U.S. government to hold China accountable for its "cover-up and negligence."

Trump understands that he can play nice with China while Democrats will feel it difficult to fight Republicans in the Congress. Criticizing China has long become political correctness with even some Democrats joining Republicans. What most Democrats could do is warn Republicans that to deliberately connect COVID-19 with China will stimulate racism in the U.S. and downplay the real threat of the virus.

Because of COVID-19 and the previous aggressive rhetoric by U.S. senior officials towards China, China has become a more visible issue in this year's presidential elections. By playing the "China card," Trump also intends to brand Biden as "soft" on China since Biden once attacked Trump's China travel ban, criticizing Trump's use of the words "Chinese virus" and said China was "not competition" for the United States.

It is clear that Trump would not easily miss any weak points of Biden during the campaign process. But domesticalizition of the China issue at the expense of the bilateral relationship will be extremely dangerous.

First, it might distort the perception of the U.S. public towards China and endanger the future reinvigoration of people to people exchanges between the two countries. Recently, some Republican congressmen called for cutting the number of Chinese media staffs and Confucius Institutes in America.

Second, it will speed up the U.S.' change in its strategy with China. The Trump administration has labeled China as its strategic competitor in 2017, arousing heated debates in U.S. strategic circles. While some moderate Democrats like Biden do not agree that China is purely a competitor or rival to the U.S. But now, the situation is changing rapidly and Democrats might have to be more hawkish on China to win the election.

Third, it would poison the climate for China-U.S. cooperation to combat COVID-19. China and U.S. successfully cooperated in the past to deal with global challenges, such as fighting against terrorism after the September 11 attacks in 2001 and handling the 2008 financial crisis.

As the two leading economies, China and the U.S. need to cooperate and help other countries get through the crisis as soon as possible, but Trump's political tactics will only make the collaboration harder to achieve.

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Post time 2020-5-24 17:53:39 |Display all floors

US President Donald J Trump does not have good grades while in school. So, he depended on others with grades worse than his to be the single top student.
In his eyes, brain and soul, China is the only single country he knows little but talks most so that US citizens will fear whenever he mentions China!
To Trump, he must and should focus on CHINA because in his faulty faculty of thought, there is no neuron capable of other task! Not bad for a president of his age, when persons like him are enjoying fruits of their labor fill with joy and happiness!
For Trump, he is still digging his own grave for others to fall with him together. Innocents will fall with him as the last but no one to cover them. Leave to rot and feed to the vultures!

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Post time 2020-5-24 19:28:19 |Display all floors

US President Donald John Trump has nothing but only CHINA to speak. He does not even know his own address!

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Post time 2020-5-24 22:52:28 |Display all floors

US President Donald John Trump knows nothing about governing a county let alone a country the size like US!

Best of all is he has someone called Peter Navarro, who is a real joker! Navarro claims he understands statistical analysis and those for medical science is similar to social science as he proclaims himself to be one!

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Post time 2020-5-27 17:37:53 |Display all floors

US President Donald John Trump played CHINA CARD and won in 2016 presidential elections.
Today, he wants to repeat but using it with more pressure on his voters.
It was Make America Great in 2016, but America is America and nothing great!
For 2020, Trump must tell white lies to win!
In the end, Trump has himself as the single sole support of his IDEALS!

Things will fall apart!

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