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Chinese Dilemma: Choosing Between Biden and Trump to Repair Strained Ties

In recent years, the relationship between China and the United States has been marked by trade disputes, technological rivalry, and strategic competition. The emergence of leaders like Donald Trump and Joe Biden has further complicated these tensions. China now faces a complex decision in determining which presidential candidate would be more favorable for its interests and in mending the strained ties between the two global powers.

During the Trump presidency, the US-China relationship witnessed a significant shift towards greater confrontation. Trump’s administration imposed tariffs on Chinese goods, blacklisted Chinese technology companies, and engaged in a tit-for-tat battle over trade practices. The rhetoric from the Trump administration was often harsh, accusing China of unfair trade practices, intellectual property theft, and predatory economic behavior. This approach created a more adversarial relationship, raising concerns about the potential for an all-out trade war or military conflict between the two countries.

On the other hand, the election of Joe Biden presents a different set of challenges and opportunities for China. Biden has emphasized the need for a more multilateral approach to dealing with China, working in concert with allies and partners to address common concerns such as human rights abuses, global trade imbalances, and cybersecurity threats. While Biden is also critical of China on issues such as human rights and intellectual property theft, he has signaled a willingness to engage with Beijing on areas of mutual interest, such as climate change and global health security.

China’s decision on which candidate to support or engage with is a delicate balancing act. On one hand, a continuation of the Trump administration’s tough stance on China could lead to further escalation of tensions and damage to China’s economy. However, a Biden presidency may not necessarily result in a significant improvement in relations, as the structural issues and strategic competition between the two countries are deep-seated and complex.

Ultimately, China cannot afford to pick its poison when it comes to mending ties with the United States. Both Biden and Trump represent different challenges and opportunities for China, requiring Beijing to carefully navigate the shifting dynamics of the US-China relationship. By seeking areas of common ground, engaging in constructive dialogue, and refraining from escalating conflict, China can work towards a more stable and cooperative relationship with the United States, regardless of who occupies the White House.

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