Trump may cause problems for China before he leaves presidency: Experts

Hong Kong: With US PresidentDonald Trump showing no signs that he will leave office gracefully after his defeat to President-elect Joe Biden in the US Presidential elections, experts and former officials say they fear a growing risk that he could make disruptive moves to double down on priorities and tie his successor’s hands in his final months in the White House.

Experts added that China could be a particular target, given Trump’s repeated efforts to blame Beijing for the Covid-19 pandemic and the economic conditions of the United States, says Mark Magnier in the South China Morning Post.

“Trump has promised to punish China for Covid-19, so the question is, what does that mean,” said Jeff Moon, principal at China Moon Strategies and former National Security Council official.

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Mangier writes that one way to worsen the already fragile US-China relations and to undermine the Biden administration move to improve bilateral cooperation on global environmental and health issues, could possibly involve Taiwan.

Beyond taking the potentially explosive step of labelling China guilty of genocide for the mass detention of Uyghurs in Xinjiang, Trump could attempt to block visas for more Communist party officials, or make trouble by trying to order US athletes to skip the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.

Other Trump options may include subjecting more Chinese state-owned companies to sanctions, expanding restrictions on “dual-use” civilian-military exports, banning more Chinese apps after its TikTok and WeChat campaigns and blocking all semiconductor sales to Huawei Technologies beyond those for 5G networks.

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Even without unsettling eleventh-hour moves, an incoming Biden administration will be confronting a more emboldened Beijing, reported SCMP.

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