On most issues, President Donald Trump and President-elect Joe Biden spent more than a year insisting they were worlds apart. But on U.S.-China relations, the two candidates competed for the same laurels, each straining at every turn to prove he would be uniquely tough on Beijing. China came up dozens of times in the final debate, with both candidates all but accusing the other of taking personal checks from Chinese president-for-life Xi Jinping. A Trump ad alleged that with Biden, “China is in charge,” while a Biden ad said Trump has “rolled over for the Chinese.”
Now we know which of the two will have the opportunity to put his China-hawk agenda into action. As Biden prepares to take office, U.S.-China relations are already at a nadir. If he governs as promised, he’ll sink them even lower. That would be a grave strategic mistake.
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