President Donald Trump has played hardball with his “good friend” Xi Jinping in China, negotiating tough trade deals, building up the U.S. military and cracking down hard on Chinese theft of U.S. intellectual property and rampant espionage on multiple levels. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has taken to singling out the source of concern: the “Chinese Communist Party”.
A prominent China watcher who has advised multiple presidents pointed to what appears to be retaliation by the Beijing regime.
“Well, I think in recent days, the Chinese have placed a new bet. They want Joe Biden to become president,” Hudson Institute Chinese strategy director Michael Pillsbury said on the Thursday edition of Fox New’s “Hannity”.
“That helps explain a lot of what they are doing” in criticizing President Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus, Pillsubry added. “They’ve kind of begun to demonize President Trump.”
Pillsbury continued: “They didn’t do that the first three years. They respected him, they admired him, and they made concessions to him in the trade talks, but now this idea that President Trump has botched — words the Chinese are using — he’s botched the handling of the virus, this is being spread all over the world by China.”
The Chinese “have a lot to hide themselves,” Pillsbury said. “They are very nervous about reporters coming to find out about their so-called wildlife, wet markets. That’s where the virus is shed from live animals to others. It’s probably how it got started. They didn’t want that to come out.”
The swift switch to Biden came as “a surprise to me,” Pillsbury said. “I thought the Chinese were going to stick with President Trump all the way through, or at least be neutral in our election. It now looks like they’re placing their bet on Joe Biden.”
Despite mountains of evidence to the contrary, Biden has continually insisted that “China is not our problem.”
“I’ve met virtually every major world leader in the last 40 years — not hyperbole, fact,” the likely Democratic presidential nominee said in October. “We talked about China. I said China is not our problem. China is not our problem if we invest and remember who we are. Imagine the situation — I’ve spent more time with Xi Jinping than any world leader had before I left the vice presidency.”
At a campaign rally last year, Biden said that China is “not competition for us.” He then famously uttered: “China is going to eat our lunch? Come on, man.”
Biden’s family ties to China have also come into question throughout the election cycle after a Daily Caller News Foundation review conducted last year found that Biden’s son Hunter received over $700,000 from Rosemont Seneca Bohai, a New York-based capital management company with close financial ties to one of China’s national banks.