Beijing's 'meddling in election' a good excuse for Trump's failure: expert
Beijing’s ‘meddling in election’ a good excuse for Trump’s failure: expert
Published: Aug 10, 2020 09:43 PM

An owner of a flag shop in Yiwu's Futian market displays a Donald Trump 2020 presidential election flag. Many Chinese plants received surging orders for US presidential election flags recently but they also face problems like surging shipping fee. Photo: Yang Hui/GT

Observers believe that playing the "China card" for the election would   backfire and ravage China-US ties, after White House National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien accused China of targeting US election infrastructure on Sunday.

O'Brien, the fourth National Security Adviser in four years, accused China of interfering amid the increasingly bitter election. O'Brien's predecessor, John Bolton, said in his explosive book that Trump asked China to help him win reelection in 2020. Interestingly, Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the US House of Representatives, on Sunday claimed that China has "not really gotten involved in the presidential election," but Russia has tried to undercut Joe Biden.

There is no proof to support O'Brien's comment. Compared to the spat in the US, some Chinese observers and netizens view the chaos based on smearing other countries as a farce that reminds them of Mark Twain's story, Running for Governor.

Shi Yinhong, a professor of International Relations and Chairman of the Academic Committee of the School of International Studies, told the Global Times on Monday that the US allegation against China is groundless. In the last 80 days before the election, the Trump camp is trying to motivate voters by stigmatizing China. 

"Trump can now have a good excuse for his failure," Shi said. 

According to Shi, as China's voice and global influence grows, the US has become increasingly intolerant of China. Regardless of whether Trump or Biden wins, attacking China will likely be a long-term goal, so China has no preference. 

"Relations between the two countries will not change in the next six months, and nothing substantial will happen," Shi said. 

A signed article by Yang Jiechi, a member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the CPC Central Committee, was published Friday, calling for stable ties and mutual respect. It also criticized US politicians who deliberately distort and attempt to undermine China-US relations.

There are those who say that Trump needs to be reelected using hype and exposure, while China's low-key attitude on hot topics like Hong Kong, Taiwan and TikTok does not pander to Trump, which makes his administration think China is on Biden's side.  

Liu Weidong, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences' Institute of American Studies, told the Global Times that China is the most experienced country in coping with the Trump administration in the past two years, and has shifted from tit-for-tat measures to more sensible ones, and focuses on long-term China-US relations.

The strategic change has nothing to do with supporting Biden. If Trump still believes China is helping Biden, he can simply not provoke China and show less hostility, Liu said.

As for the "China card," like imposing sanctions on Chinese high-tech and internet companies and officials involved in Hong Kong affairs, Liu said it will not always work, and most likely backfire. 

"US voters will think, 'Do we want a leader who is erratic, cynical and incompetent for another four years?'" Liu said. 

The US has recorded over 5.05 million coronavirus cases and 162,000 deaths so far. Trump has been blamed for the lack of timely action. 

Four national security advisers in four years prove Trump lacks basic political literacy. He is intolerant of dissent, so O'Brien's loyalty and obedience were important to the post, Liu said.