Trump could 'incite, use' riots for reelection

By Yang Sheng Source:Global Times Published: 2020/6/2 22:38:40

US mess makes it difficult to provoke China: analysts

A protester grabs his bike as police use tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the crowd near the White House on Monday. Photos: AFP

US President Donald Trump is going to further provoke the protesters infuriated by George Floyd's death, so that the riots could become an inflection point of public criticism of Trump. Such a situation would require immediate and effective action to curb the chaotic situation, and then Trump would be able to raise his approval ratings by ending the riots by force, observers noted.

Compared to China, the governance capability of the US has shown clear disadvantages in handling the COVID-19 outbreak and the nationwide riots, since the federal government and the states cannot reach a consensus and come up with a solution effectively executed across the country, and the struggle between Republicans and Democrats will prevent the country from making concerted efforts to handle emergency situations, Chinese analysts said.   

Declaring himself "your president of law and order," Trump called violent protests "domestic acts of terror" which law enforcement would "dominate the streets" to quell, CNN reported on Tuesday. "If a city or state refuses to take the actions necessary to defend the life and property of their residents, then I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them," Trump said.

An Gang, a senior research fellow at the Pangoal Institution, a Beijing-based think tank, told the Global Times on Tuesday that Trump's strategy in handling the current crisis is getting more and more clear - incite and provoke the protesters to escalate riots so that he could spark the fury among white people, which is his base, to win in November.  

US politicians also have a similar feeling about Trump's tough words. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said Monday that Trump wants to make the protests over George Floyd's death "a reality TV show of God and country." 

The New York governor condemned the president's move to visit St. John's Church after law enforcement in Lafayette Park used tear gas to forcibly remove peaceful protesters from the area.

Cuomo told CNN following the dispersal. "'Call out the military and then I go to church and hold up a Bible.'"

Using the military and Bible would create a tough image favored by right-wing conservative white Americans, and this is what he wants to show the people, analysts said. 

Lü Xiang, a research fellow on US studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, told the Global Times on Tuesday that Trump is sacrificing stability and public order, as well as national interests to achieve his reelection goal.

"Protests in some states are not riots, and the police forces in these states are enough to restore public order. But Trump has incited and provoked the protesters again and again on Twitter and public speeches," Lü said.

Some Republican politicians also vowed a tougher response to the unrests. "We need to have zero tolerance for this destruction," Republican Senator Tom Cotton said on Twitter on Monday, even suggesting that the 101st Airborne Division and other high-profile units of the military be used to quell any future looting.

If the riots continue to escalate and more people get affected, the Trump administration could order the military to suppress the riots, and this would help Trump expand the federal government's power over the states, and many white people who are neutral would likely change their minds and support Trump, Lü noted.

The clash between Democrats and Republicans is preventing the US from effectively and immediately solving problems like the COVID-19 pandemic and the riots.

Although riots occurred in China's Hong Kong  in 2019, and the country was also hit by the COVID-19 epidemic, with Wuhan, the hardest-hit city caught unprepared, China didn't see the escalation of the crisis and the Communist Party of China and the Chinese government have successfully minimized the damage, experts said.

In the future, China would be more confident and pay more attention to recovering its economy. For the US, the mess it is experiencing would make it hard to launch provocations and offensives against China, Chinese analysts noted.


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