Who does China prefer: Trump or Biden?

Both men will pose challenges but also offer opportunities to Beijing, say analysts

US President Donald Trump and China's leader Xi Jinping at a bilateral meeting at the Group of 20 summit in Japan last year. Shanghai-based former diplomat Kenneth Jarrett reckons that four more years of the Trump administration would give China more
US President Donald Trump and China's leader Xi Jinping at a bilateral meeting at the Group of 20 summit in Japan last year. Shanghai-based former diplomat Kenneth Jarrett reckons that four more years of the Trump administration would give China more opportunities to assert its own international leadership.PHOTO: NYTIMES
US Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, if elected as president, is likely to be tougher with China on human rights, say analysts.
US Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, if elected as president, is likely to be tougher with China on human rights, say analysts.PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING • For many Chinese, United States President Donald Trump is unpredictable, unreasonable and unfriendly, and is responsible for bringing the world's two biggest economies to the brink of a new Cold War.

Mr Trump has given China grief over trade, technology, the Covid-19 pandemic, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Xinjiang and the disputed South China Sea, putting Beijing in the toughest spot since 1989 when the military crackdown on student-led pro-democracy protests plunged China into diplomatic isolation.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on June 07, 2020, with the headline 'Who does China prefer: Trump or Biden?'. Print Edition | Subscribe