Midterm results will not alter US-China trade friction: experts

By Wang Wenwen in Washington DC and Leng Shumei in Beijing Source:Global Times Published: 2018/11/7 23:38:40

Midterm results ‘will not alter US-China trade friction’

Karen Magnuson (left) and Karen Shaw celebrate after the announcement of Democratic candidate Jason Crow's victory in Colorado's 6th congressional district, at the Colorado Democrats watch party in Denver, Colorado on Tuesday. Photo: AFP

US Democrats' success in the House of Representatives in the midterm election will further divide US politics and create more uncertainty in the 2020 election, Chinese analysts said on Wednesday.

It will also restrict the movement of the Trump administration in its remaining two years, they said. 

Democrats captured the House, 222-199, and are set to exert a major check on President Donald Trump after retaking the House after eight years, CNN reported Wednesday. 

Republicans continue to control the Senate, 51-49, according to CNN.

"Tremendous success tonight. Thank you to all!" Trump tweeted after the GOP retained control of the Senate.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told a routine press briefing on Wednesday that "the midterm election is the internal affairs of the US and China will not comment on it."

She reiterated that China would like to work with the US to move China-US ties toward a correct direction on the basis of mutual respect and mutual benefits.

Although this year's midterm election was widely believed to be much more exciting than those of previous years, Chinese analysts do not think the result will alter the trade friction between China and the US as both Democratic and Republican parties hold a tough attitude toward China on economic issues.

Losing the House should appear as a shock to Republicans since, before the midterm election, they were apparently superior, Liu Weidong, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

Democrats not only lack an outstanding leading figure but were also rebuffed on the sexual assault allegations against Brett Kavanaugh, who was confirmed to the Supreme Court on October 6.  In addition, the US economy is performing well under the Trump administration, Liu explained.

Liu said that such a result would undoubtedly add fuel to the divided US politics as well as cause uncertainties for the election in two years' time. The two parties may especially be divided on domestic issues such as tax policies, he stressed.

"But success in the Senate still points to a solid foundation for Trump," Liu pointed out.

All About Trump

All 435 seats in the House of Representatives in this year's midterm election as well as 35 seats in the 100-member Senate were contested. So were the governorships in 36 states, CNN reported.

Philip Hamilton, a political analyst based in Columbus, Ohio, told the Global Times on Wednesday that "this election was more than a collection of contests for individual seats; it's about national politics and a referendum on the Trump presidency."

He stressed that "turnout seems much higher than usual for midterm election."

After the Democrats take control of the House, Trump's power to push his agenda would likely stall. The threat of impeachment also looms as Democrats will have the power to investigate the president for perceived violations of conduct, Philip noted.

However, Liu said that there is not much chance of impeachment due to a lack of strong evidence. He referred to the Russia scandal where Trump is accused of colluding with the Russian government.

Bret Nielson, a Philadelphia-based Democrat who works on social policy, told the Global Times that "there is a great division within the political parties, and few moderates. Some of the Republicans have been opposing Trump and there is more divisiveness within the Republican Party now. "

Attitude toward China

Voters in Philadelphia started to line up at polling places early in the morning on November 6, EST.

When asked about his hopes for future governors, Julian Jordan, who works in consulting in Washington DC, said that "we just need rational leaders who will stand up for what they believe in and for what's good for our country."

The midterm election also sparked heated discussions on Chinese social media. Many net users said that the change in the US' domestic political environment would not affect the country's attitude against China.

Some said they wonder how the results of the midterm election would affect the world economy, while other stressed that China should not rely on political changes in the US to resolve ongoing frictions but on itself.

Newspaper headline: Polls create uncertainty

Posted in: DIPLOMACY

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