Harris as Biden’s running mate heightens ‘China-bash competition’ as election nears

By Zhao Yusha Source: Global Times Published: 2020/8/12 11:32:15 Last Updated: 2020/8/12 17:06:28

Harris as Biden’s running mate heightens‘China-bash competition’ as election nears

Kamala Harris Photo: AFP

US Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden's choice of Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate, who Donald Trump dubbed as the "meanest" US senator, is expected to add points to Biden's campaign as Harris is a female African American, but her harsh stance on China will likely escalate the "who-is-the-toughest-on-China competition" between the "donkey and elephant" in the 2020 US presidential race, Chinese observers said.

Biden announced the news on Tuesday, ending weeks of speculation over who his running mate will be in the November election.

The 55-year-old California senator is the first black woman on a major presidential ticket in US history. Chinese observers noted that her nomination is an apparent move by Biden to win over left-wing and black voters, as social unrest over racial injustice against black Americans has rocked the country for months. 

This soon invited a fierce response from Trump, who said he was "a little surprised" that Biden selected Harris as his running mate, saying she had been "nasty" to the former vice-president in primary debates.

Trump, who is now running behind Biden in the polls, and is eyeing pressuring Beijing as a way to regain some ground, will ratchet up pressure on China during the next few months, Zhang Tengjun, assistant research fellow at the China Institute of International Studies, told the Global Times. 

He also said that based on Harris' previous tough stance on China-related issues, this nominee's involvement in the campaign would only add fuel to the fire of the two parties' playing of "China cards." 

When running for San Francisco District Attorney, Harris once gave herself a Chinese name, He Jinli, to win votes from ethnic Chinese. The name translates to "intricate and beautiful," while the surname means "celebrate."

But this should not be misinterpreted as goodwill toward China. The senator has been vocal in her criticism of China on multiple issues, including Xinjiang and Hong Kong.

She criticized China's Xinjiang policy in 2019, and said China failed to "respect the rights and autonomy of Hong Kong's people," and that the Hong Kong government used excessive force "against peaceful protestors," referring to the riots that had engulfed the city for months in 2019. 

Her latest attack on China includes writing a letter with US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand urging the Trump administration to respond to an "alarming" AP investigation claiming that the Chinese government is taking measures to slash birth rates among Uygurs and other minorities.

The investigation report was based on flawed statistics, wrong calculation method, misleading figures and untrustworthy interviewees, the Global Times has found.


Harris jointly launched the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act in 2019, and urged several US investigation agencies to probe China's "suppression" of Uygurs.

In October 2019, she announced her support for the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act. 

Posted in: DIPLOMACY

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