Beijing is preparing for President Donald Trump’s “final madness” ahead of a contentious transition to a Biden administration in two months’ time, Chinese state media said today.
He will spend his final 10 weeks in the White House looking for ways to further sabotage U.S.-China relations in order to set a political trap for President-elect Joe Biden and his team, Global Times claimed today.
The paper, which represents the most hawkish views of the Chinese Communist Party, called the president’s signing of an “anti-China” executive order Thursday a “final act of the madness from the Trump administration.”
The Executive Order on Addressing the Threat from Securities Investments that Finance Communist Chinese Military Companies, which takes effect on January 11, 2021, forbids direct ownership of shares and investments in 31 Chinese firms, including the likes of Huawei and China Telecom.
The state-run media outlet, which has been consistently critical of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, cited his recent assertion that “Taiwan has not been a part of China” as another “madness” of the outgoing Trump administration.
The president, who has yet to publicly accept the result of the recent election, sees tough measures on Beijing as part of his “political legacy,” the Chinese newspaper said.
Global Times said Trump was “setting obstacles” for Biden in order to “disrupt” his Democrat-led government. The former vice president would find it difficult to overturn existing Trump policies without developing a reputation for being soft on China, it claimed.
As Trump’s tenure draws to a close, the Chinese government is ready for “final hysteria” from the United States in the South China Sea and especially on issues related to Taiwan, the Beijing mouthpiece said.
Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen has enjoyed unprecedented support from the Trump administration in the form of official diplomatic visits and continuing arms deals worth billions of dollars.
While any major escalations in the Taiwan Strait are unlikely in the next two months, the Beijing party newspaper—seemingly on behalf of President Xi Jinping—warned that the country was prepared to act militarily if faced with further “collusion” between Washington and Taipei.
“The mainland has made preparations, including exerting stronger military pressure and carrying out punishments,” Global Times wrote.
It added: “The People’s Liberation Army conducted intensive military exercises in the Taiwan Straits [sic] region recently. One of the purposes was to deal with challenges during the U.S. government transition. Once the U.S. and Taiwan island touch the bottom line, the mainland will fight a war that it is fully prepared for.”
Since Election Day results began pointing to a Biden-Harris victory, Chinese state media has intimated that an improvement in Beijing’s relations with the United States was possible—even likely—despite the President-elect’s public denouncements of the Chinese leadership’s policies and his recognition of China as America’s biggest threat going forward.
It is increasingly likely that Biden will find his multilateral foreign policy ideas stifled by existing hard-line measures aimed at curtailing Beijing’s influence, especially ones that receive cross-party support in Congress.