My mother’s brother Ian Adie was a highly respected China expert and worked for Australian intelligence while also a professor at Canberra University. He once warned that we should hope China stays communist as Mao made it because if it ever adopted a ‘capitalist’ style approach they will take over everything in a matter of a few decades. I don’t think he imagined China as it is today – but gobbling up everything he was not far off the mark. I have managed to keep up with some of his China expert buddies – students he trained and the like. What I hear from them is interesting. We hear that China does not like Trump and would rather Biden be in the White House. However that is largely incorrect. China indeed thinks Trump is bad news in the short term, but they see him as a sure fire way to decrease American power and influence in the world, so long term they absolutely want to see him reelected. And they see that given 4 more years he may be able to set up America on a course of decline even after he leaves the White House. In other words they see Trump as a useful idiot. Funny thing is that Russia sees him in exactly the same light and both are now working together imagining a new world order without American domination.
All this talk about Trump being a danger for the future – well – it’s true. His support base and enablers have simply thought of their short term interests and buried their heads in the sand. It’s like American business thinking of the quarterly reports, the stock market today, my job now. China thinks in terms of 5 year plans. We take the short view – China takes the long view. The long view usually wins out.