• U.S.-China Tensions Will Remain Regardless of Who Wins the White House
• Covid-19 was first identified in China late last year has spread across the globe and the U.S is now the world’s worst-affected country
In April 2017, US President Donald Trump entertained his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping at Mar-a-Lago, his luxury golf resort in Florida.
Whether Trump or Biden wins, US-China relations look set to worsen
On his way to the White House, China had been one of Trump’s favourite targets. “We are going to have a very, very great relationship,” the businessman-turned-politician said after the meeting.
A few months later, Xi feted Trump with a state dinner in Beijing’s Forbidden City, the first foreign leader to be given such an honour.
The two events marked the peak of a relationship that has come undone amid intensifying disputes over trade, technology, maritime claims, human rights and the COVID-19 pandemic. The virus that was first identified in China late last year has spread across the globe and the United States is now the world’s worst-affected country.
The growing rivalry between the world’s two biggest powers has been felt across the Asia-Pacific
Once again, a tough approach to China is central to Trump’s bid for office with the US set to go the polls on November 3.
“It’s probably the worst relationship that they have had since the two established diplomatic relations,” said Adam Ni, Director of the China Policy Centre, an Australian think-tank based in Canberra. “The situation is quite bleak.”
The growing rivalry between the world’s two biggest powers has been felt across the Asia-Pacific, among the US’s traditional allies as well as smaller powers that have for years tried to balance support from the American superpower, alongside deepening ties with China.
“It’s not competition any more,” said Thomas Daniel, a senior analyst at the Institute of Strategic and International Studies Malaysia, referring to the US-China dynamic. “It’s turning more and more adversarial. It’s complicating things for us in Southeast Asia especially for those states that want the US to be constructively engaged in the region.”