Various news reports note that President Trump intends to enact several hardline policies against Communist China, during what could be his remaining weeks in office, to cement his tough-on-China legacy, and make it difficult for a potential Biden presidency to weaken. This is welcome news, as one of the biggest concerns of a possible Joe Biden administration is his close ties to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) via his son Hunter Biden’s questionable business dealings.
Many ask not whether, but how much, those ties have compromised the former vice president when dealing with the Chinese dictatorship.
Trump’s latest hard-line policies are expected to run the gamut of areas, but will mostly focus on targeting China for its massive human rights violations, illegal fishing in the South China Sea, and globally, and also barring U.S. companies from doing business with an even longer list of Chinese companies with ties to the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA).
Trump officials have also “been looking to move more hawkish China experts into senior roles across the government,” another senior official added, according to Axios.
President Trump’s strategy is crucial now as the Chinese regime continues to behave belligerently from India to Hong Kong to Taiwan, and the Chinese-originated pandemic triggers a second global wave of shutdowns.
Trump hopes his added policies will make it politically untenable for the Biden administration to change course if declared the election winner.
National Security Council (NSC) spokesperson John Ullyot told Axios, “Unless Beijing reverses course and becomes a responsible player on the global stage, future U.S. presidents will find it politically suicidal to reverse President Trump’s historic actions.”
Director of National Intelligence (DNI) senior adviser Cliff Sims said, according to Axios, that, “[National Intelligence] Director Ratcliffe will continue playing a leading role, in coordination with other national security principals, in delivering a necessary mindset shift from the Cold War and post-9/11 counterterrorism eras to a focus on great power competition with an adversarial China.”
As part of this profound mindset shift, Director Ratcliffe, notes Axios, is expected to “publicly describe in granular detail intelligence about China’s nefarious actions inside the U.S.” Expect a lot of highly specific information on Chinese espionage and subversion.
However, beyond the very tough actions already taken, U.S. officials said not to “expect big new moves on Taiwan or more closures of Chinese consulates in the U.S.”
Axios concluded by noting some of Trump’s recent and pending policies against China:
An executive order issued last week barred U.S. investment in 31 such companies, and any additions would likely face a similar restriction.
Officials plan to target China’s growing use of forced labor in the highly competitive fishing industry. Coerced and unpaid labor isn’t just a human rights concern — it can also give Chinese fisheries an advantage over rivals in an industry with geopolitical significance.
“The Biden transition team declined a request for comment,” said Axios. But, if Biden is declared the president-elect, his future actions toward China will say a lot about how compromised he really is.