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Trump Could Target China Before Leaving White House to Create Trouble for Biden, Say Experts

US President Donald Trump meets with China's President Xi Jinping at the start of their bilateral meeting at the G20 leaders summit in Osaka, Japan on June 29, 2019. (REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

US President Donald Trump meets with China's President Xi Jinping at the start of their bilateral meeting at the G20 leaders summit in Osaka, Japan on June 29, 2019. (REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

Experts are of the opinion that amid Trump's continued blame on China for the coronavirus pandemic and the resultant economic losses faced by the US, Beijing could be an easy target for Trump to strike against.

Donald Trump is showing no signs of backing down from his White House post. After his defeat against President-elect Joe Biden, the Republican leader may double down on China in his final office months, leaving behind more diplomatic or trade tangles to untie for the Democrat, experts say.

According to ANI, experts are of the opinion that amid Trump's continued blame on China for the coronavirus pandemic and the resultant economic losses faced by the US, Beijing could be an easy target for the US president to strike against.

“I think there is a good chance for mischief across a range of US polices leading up to the inauguration on January 20," said James Green, a Georgetown University senior fellow and former trade negotiator based in the US embassy in Beijing, SCMP reports. “In terms of cooperative handover procedures, I worry about that. It seems to me one of those norms that the Trump administration has no interest in upholding,” he said.

The SCMP report states foreign policy moves using "quick" executive orders or agency rule marking, appointments that don’t require Senate confirmation, could be among the ways Trump may punish Beijing.

Another "explosive" step could to be labelling China guilty of “genocide” for the mass detention of Uygurs in Xinjiang. Trump could also block visas for more Communist Party officials, or attempt to order US athletes to skip the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.

Trade restrictions may yet be another move in Trump's mind, by subjecting more Chinese state-owned companies to sanctions. "Expanding restrictions on “dual-use” civilian-military exports, banning more Chinese apps after its TikTok and WeChat campaigns and blocking all semiconductor sales to Huawei Technologies beyond those for 5G networks" are some of the possible actions the report lists.

This could lead to a challenge for the Biden administration, as it would have to "confront a more emboldened Beijing". However, due to China's power growth in the last four years, Biden policies could be similar to Trump, said Sarah Kreps, a Cornell University law and government professor.

Amid the impending moves lies the US public view of China, which has become more negative since Trump took control. According to the Pew Research Centre, 73 per cent of Americans hold a negative view of China, up 13 percentage points from last year, and 20 points from 2017 when Trump took office.

The US had previously removed the East Turkestan Islamic Movement from its list of terrorist organisations after nearly two decades, leading to the weakening of China’s anti-terror pretext for a draconian crackdown on Uyghurs in its Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, the report states.

The action came amid worldwide condemnation of China’s policies in Xinjiang, where a large population of Muslim minorities is detained in re-education camps. China, however, regularly denies such mistreatment and says the camps provide "vocational training".

People in the internment camps have said they are subjected to forced political indoctrination, torture, beatings, and denial of food and medicine, apart from being prohibited from practising their religion or speaking their language.


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