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  • Writer's pictureXiaodong Fang

A Call for Presidential Candidates to Address China: Biden and Trump Must Take a Stand

As the United States gears up for another pivotal presidential election, there are critical issues that demand the attention of the candidates. One such issue, perhaps the most pressing on the global stage, is the relationship between the United States and China. In recent years, this relationship has become increasingly strained, marked by trade tensions, accusations of intellectual property theft, human rights abuses, and geopolitical rivalry.

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It is imperative that the presidential candidates, whether incumbent President Biden or his challenger, former President Trump, address the China question head-on in their campaigns. President Biden and former President Trump, as the leading contenders for the highest office in the land, must rise to the occasion and articulate a clear and coherent vision for dealing with China.

China's rapid economic ascent has reshaped the global landscape, positioning it as a formidable competitor to the United States. Its authoritarian regime, coupled with its expanding military capabilities, presents a complex challenge to American interests and values. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, it has further exacerbated tensions, with accusations of mishandling and misinformation directed at Beijing.

President Biden, during his campaign and tenure in office, has emphasized the importance of multilateralism and diplomacy in dealing with China. His administration has sought to rally allies to collectively address issues such as trade practices, human rights violations, and regional security concerns. However, critics argue that this approach has not yielded significant results and that a more assertive stance is necessary to counter China's growing influence.

On the other hand, former President Trump adopted a confrontational approach towards China, initiating a trade war and labeling China a strategic competitor. His administration imposed tariffs on Chinese imports and took steps to restrict Chinese access to American technology. While this approach garnered support from some quarters, others criticized it as reckless and damaging to global economic stability.

As the 2024 election looms, I call on both candidates to articulate a clear and coherent strategy towards China. They must address key issues such as trade imbalances, intellectual property theft, human rights abuses (including the treatment of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang and the crackdown on democracy in Hong Kong), and regional security concerns (particularly in the South China Sea and Taiwan).


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