Business executives, academics and others involved in this relationship say that although the governance process clearly has an electoral component – the president is campaigning on toughness towards China – they are far beyond the 2020 election. Americans no longer have the effect they had on curbing hostility between Beijing and Washington.
In recent days, the White House has announced anti-Chinese initiatives one after another, in sectors that included finance, technology and national security. The initiatives were the start of a process to erase the listing of Chinese companies from U.S. trade, planning to close two of the most popular Chinese applications – Wichett and Tiktok – sanctions on Hong Kong leader Curry Lam, sending a minister to Taiwan and closing the Chinese consulate in Houston.
Several U.S. actions have been in response to Chinese moves, such as Hong Kong’s new dragon national security law, the oppression of Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang province in western China, and ongoing U.S. complaints of cyber theft or forced technology transfer to Chinese. China does not allow social media companies Americans operate freely in its markets.
In recent days, China has reacted mainly to rhetoric that the United States has spoken of “crossing the Red Line” in a dangerous way. Ying Jaichi, on Friday.
“What scares people is that it all happens at once,” said Clyt Wilms, a former senior economic aide at Trump’s White House. “It signals that the Hawks are on the rise, and that the president feels he needs to do more to win a second term.”
Advisers to former Vice President Joe Biden, the Democrats’ presidential candidate, say the Biden administration will adopt a less confrontational tone toward China, but trade and national security policy will be similar. There is broad democratic support for a rigid stance towards China. For example, a proposal to oblige Chinese companies to comply with U.S. accounting requirements or to be deleted from trading, was recently passed unanimously in the Senate.
“Biden’s staff quite clearly agree with the idea of a strategic confrontation with China,” said Evans Madiros, a former Asia adviser to the Obama administration. “The question is just what is the best way to deal with it.”
All this signals that tensions will continue regardless of the election results in early November. “A new cold war has begun,” said David Shambau, a China expert at George Washington University. “The point is to keep the Cold War from turning into a hot war.”
There are still some restrictions facing the Trump administration in the run-up to the confrontation with China. In the two years of the trade war with China, the president often refrained from provocative actions when markets plummeted. His fear of the markets only intensifies in the last line before the election, Trump officials say, especially as the U.S. economy refuses to recover from its sharpest decline in 70 years of documentation.
Trade between the United States and China, which was the focus of the conflict in 2019, is now one of the stabilizing elements in relations. The two countries signed the first phase of a trade agreement in January, which Trump praised as one of its greatest achievements. Are scheduled to meet for a video call to discuss the agreement on or near August 15th.
But it’s still unclear if the trade deal will last until the U.S. election on November 3. “You know, I made a trade deal, and it’s a great deal,” Trump told Louie Dobbs, a Poker Business broadcaster, last Tuesday. “But after that happened. “- he referred to the corona crisis -” I no longer feel the same about the deal “.
Even in the area of trade, the Trump administration is considering measures that could add to tensions. Among the measures recommended by the Foreign Ministry and the National Security Council in government, government officials said, is also a proposal for a free trade agreement with Taiwan. Although the economic consequences will be limited, Beijing may perceive such a move as a deep political commitment to an island that China sees as a rebellious Chinese province.