Will China Be Happy With Biden-Harris Duo Winning US Election? – OpEd


US Presidential elections have always received worldwide attention, as they are interesting and often funny, with rival candidates coining phrases to describe each other, which sometimes is laughable and on other occasions even abusive.   

However, everyone thinks that the result of these US Presidential elections will not bring about any unpredictable changes in the policy measures of the US government and its approach in dealing with other countries. Therefore, everyone generally looks at the US election process as some sort of free and noisy entertainment on the world stage.

On most occasions, the incumbent US Presidents have been re-elected for a second term, as it is often seen that there is not much of a difference  between the rival candidates. After the completion of the second term, inevitably a new face becomes the next US President, with no discernible change in the policies of the US government.

Outside the USA, the pledged haters of the USA continue to criticize the USA and the pledged admirers continue to praise it, with the US citizens just considering the election as a routine exercise with little expectations from the new President.

However, the consequence of the result of the 2020 election promises to be somewhat different from the earlier ones.

Here is the incumbent President, aged 74, contesting against a rival aspiring to become the US President, who is 77 years old.

Amongst many countries, one country is highly concerned about the result of the US election is  China, as  it appears to think that a different US President would serve its interests  better.

President Trump has been criticizing and opposing  China, like which no other US President has done. On the other hand, most earlier US Presidents have considered the relationship with China as one of mutual benefits and have ignored the negative impact of China’s emerging role on the US in the short- and long-terms.

A stage has come now when the US government and people have realized that even for meeting its requirement of sanitizers and face masks, the US has to depend on other countries, particularly China. Everyone has realized that the manufacturing base of the USA has been steadily eroded in the last few years, benefiting China directly and indirectly. Several US based companies have invested in China in a massive way instead of doing so in the USA, tempted by China’s proactive policies to attract US-based companies. As a result, US companies have liberally shared technology inputs with the Chinese enterprises, which have considerably strengthened the technology base of China, to such an extent as to challenge the USA.

While China has played its role cleverly and is trying to consolidate  the benefits that it got due to its past cosy relationship with the USA to achieve its ambition of global dominance, the USA has now realized, with huge concern, that China is advancing at its cost in a variety of ways.

The upper most priority for the USA today is to restrict China’s march in the world scenario. Therefore, in the US election, the anti-China postures have become the main plank for the rival candidates. US citizens have to decide, as to which candidate would be more anti-China in the next four years.

In this anti-China contest, it appears that President Trump holds a trump card, in spite of his critics and opponents decrying him on the various fronts.

In this war of attrition between the rivals, some people think that Biden has chosen a wrong horse as his Vice President nominee. Probably, Biden thought that his selection of nominee Kamala Harris would be a favorable factor for him, since she is a woman and of color. However, the past utterances and advocacies of Kamala Harris have been frequently conflicting and she has changed here stance several times. Will she turn to being soft towards China in the future is a point of debate.

Some analysts say that Biden if elected would be 81 when he would complete his term and may not be able to seek re-election for a second term due to his age. 

With Kamala Harris clearly seeing the opportunity to become the next President in case Biden is elected and unable to end his first term, she would certainly assert herself and make her presence more visible for the public. Biden may not be able checkmate his Vice President effectively, who is known for adopting an assertive posture and making vituperative remarks, perhaps just like Donald Trump. 

China must be hoping that Biden and Harris are the winning team, as it knows that its course of future action has to be decided by the action and determination of the next President and his/her capacity and desire to inflict wounds on China.

In case Biden wins, the world will keep its fingers crossed on what sort of influence and power that Kamala Harris would exercise over the US government. Certainly, she would not be a “lame duck” Vice President, such as the USA has seen in the past.

It is possible that wooed by China’s ‘pleasant behavior’, the voice of Harris with regard to relations with China may become soft, just as she has changed her views and stance on several occasions in the past.

Will China be more happy with a Biden-Harris  team?

Trump has proved himself to be a sworn enemy of China and cannot go back on his stance any time soon, even though his critics label him as “unreliable and unpredictable”.

 As such, certainly, China would hate Trump winngin a second term.

N. S. Venkataraman

N. S. Venkataraman is a trustee with the "Nandini Voice for the Deprived," a not-for-profit organization that aims to highlight the problems of downtrodden and deprived people and support their cause. To promote probity and ethical values in private and public life and to deliberate on socio-economic issues in a dispassionate and objective manner.

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