With just three months to go for the US Presidential polls, an interesting narrative is building up amongst the Americans, which shows that the incumbent President- Donald Trump has been able to implant China as an election issue within the US while the Democrats, led by Joe Biden, remain obsessed about Russia.
According to a new Pew Research Center survey, 73 per cent American adults hold an unfavourable view of China, which shows a sharp rise of 26 per cent from 2018 when 47 per cent Americans said that they viewed the Middle Kingdom unfavourably. There has been a rise of 7 per cent in unfavourable views since March when Trump started making an election issue out of China.
This comes right in the backdrop of some tough actions on China by the Trump administration. The US recently ordered the closure of Chinese Consulate in Houston over Intellectual Property theft allegations, the Federal US agencies have also been arresting Chinese spies masquerading as students.
The Trump administration has also announced sanctions on Chinese officials over the Uighur Muslim internment camps and has also stood up strongly against Chinese belligerence in the South China Sea and the Himalayas. Moreover, from the very beginning Trump has been blaming China for the Coronavirus Pandemic.
Donald Trump’s crusade against China is resonating with the Americans. Around two-thirds of the Americans- 64 per cent to be precise, feel that Beijing did a bad job in handling COVID-19. Moreover, 78 per cent Americans hold China culpable for the global spread of the Chinese virus.
As far as US-China ties are concerned, Americans seem to agree with Trump that China is the biggest threat that the US faces today. More than one in every four Americans, believe that China is an enemy of the United States. In 2012, almost half of this share believed that China is an enemy of the US.
Far more people believe, that is, 57 per cent Americans, believe that China is a ‘competitor’ of the US and only 16 per cent Americans think that China is a US partner.
On the issue of human rights, Trump administration’s crusade against the CCP is again getting vindicated within the US. 73 per cent Americans believe that the US should promote human rights in China, even if it comes at the cost of bilateral economic ties between the two global powers.
Meanwhile, the Democrats seem to be going out of touch with the popular American sentiment. Democrats live in an anachronistic world of the US-Russia Cold War era. China is much bigger and much more hawkish than Russia today, but Biden won’t simply accept this.
Even after a sharp rise in hostility against China, Biden has tried to walk a fine line on China. In fact, Foreign Policy quoted an informal advisor to the Biden campaign as saying that the Democratic Presidential candidate recognises the need to co-exist with China on key issues like global warming to containing Coronavirus and even convincing North Korea to dismantle its Nuclear programme.
Democrats have started sounding more like conspiracy-theorists with their excessive obsession for Russia. Recently, Biden once again tried to bring up the unsubstantiated allegation of Russian interference in American elections. However, it is known that if there is anyone trying to interfere in the internal matters of other countries, it is the CCP.
There are clear evidences of the Chinese state media interfering with the American election process but Biden has simply side-stepped such issues.
Out of their sheer desperation, the Democrats have even picked up unreliable news reports regarding intelligence inputs about Russia offering Afghan militants bounties to kill American troops.
Within the US, the left-liberal media has been constantly weaving the narrative that Trump is going to lose the upcoming polls. But if we go by the Pew Research Centre survey, a huge majority resonates with Trump’s foreign policy which is centred on keeping Beijing in check.
Come November 3, a huge Silent Majority will be voting overwhelmingly for Trump. And this is not just about the Silent Majority any longer. For 73 per cent Americans to hold an adverse opinion of China, means that the support for Trump’s China stand has fans across electoral divisions.
Trump’s China policy is resonating with Americans who have never been Republican supporters or die-heart Trump fans. In the run up to the US Presidential polls, it is Trump who has picked the right US enemy as his poll plank. This is going to pave way for the US President to come back with an even bigger mandate.