Democrat Presidential nominee is not in office yet. We don’t even know if he will actually be able to assume office in January next year given the uncertainties surrounding the US Presidential poll results. But the Chinese President Xi Jinping has already started paying traps for the Democratic leader, known to have a soft corner for China. Beijing wants to entice Biden and get him to drop Trump administration’s tariff wars against China.
A senior official from a Chinese state-sponsored think tank has said that the People’s Republic of China will no longer target trade surpluses and solely expanding exports. The Chinese official claimed that the paper dragon would strive to find a balance between inbound and outbound shipments. Earlier this month, Xi Jinping had himself said that China will import goods worth $22 trillion over the next decade. He claimed that China would accelerate opening up despite the Pandemic.
By promising to behave in the changing world order and reducing predatory trade surpluses, Xi Jinping is actually giving a message to Joe Biden. The Chinese President is suggesting that he is ready to behave, if the White House drops its tariff war against China.
One of the driving forces behind Trump’s tariff wars against China was the United States of America’s extensive trade deficit with China. Yet, during his Presidential campaign, Biden had criticised Trump’s tariff wars against China. He virtually promised to drop Trump’s tariff wars, in the event of his getting elected as the President of the United States.
Now, China seems to believe that Biden will ultimately come at the helm of affairs in the White House. On Friday, Beijing even broke its prolonged silence, and finally congratulated Joe Biden and Kamala Harris for their purported victory in the US Presidential polls.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said, “We respect the choice of the American people. We express our congratulations to Mr. Biden and Ms. Harris.”
Joe Biden and the Democrats have been claiming that Trump’s trade war hasn’t worked. However, Biden would still need something to show or justify why he feels that dropping Trump’s tariff wars against China is a good idea. And Xi Jinping seems to be giving the Democrat Presidential nominee the excuse that he needs.
China’s message to Biden is that engagement with Beijing can work. At a purely political level, China’s desire is to make Biden’s life easy within the United States. Joe Biden might as well take the Chinese bait and argue that engaging China can lead to reduced trade surplus, as against Donald Trump’s strategy of slapping punitive tariffs on Chinese goods and decoupling American economy from the paper Dragon.
Also, we should not forget that throughout his poll campaign, Biden was promising to get China to behave in its trading relationship with the US. Biden had even said, “No, no, here’s the deal. The question is what is the appropriate behaviour that they have to engage in international relations, in international trade with us, and they have to play by the international rules. And what we have done is we have disarmed ourselves.”
China is therefore giving Biden the very bait that he was asking for, and it seems that Xi Jinping has entrapped Biden even before a final verdict in the US Presidential Elections.