The important fact is what actually happens. Talk is cheap. Trump supporters seem convinced that Trump has been “tough on China” because Trump says so – and that China is the biggest danger the US faces. China is a great danger but one cannot assume what the next President will do. They state with no evidence yet that when Biden is President he will be soft on China. Such statements are just another way to discredit Bidens win.
One only has to go back a couple of years to hear President Trump boast of his great relationship with China. If the Trump people were so concerned about China at the start of the Trump Presidency they certainly didn’t do much about it except boast about mutual good relations.
Even at the beginning of the Covid situation Trump supported China and in fact praised China and downplayed the virus. He did what China did and many other world leaders did as well. The first reaction of most leaders would be to downplay – wishful thinking perhaps but a natural reaction just the same. So Trump cant really be blamed for his initial downplaying. The problem is he never stopped even when it was obvious it was serious.
Later Trump levied tariffs on China which according to most economists have only increased costs for American consumers and done little or nothing to hurt China. Trump keeps repeating that China is paying the tariffs which means he does not understand what a tariff is. US importers pay the tariffs, not China, and they end up being passed on to the American Consumer. Meanwhile the US balance of payments under Trump have increased. Did jobs come flooding back to the US. No. So much for America first.
Of course the worst foreign policy blunder of Trump was terminating the TPP ceeding the field to China. China has created its own TPP with Asian and South Pacific nations. We were left out of the loop. America first? no, America left out.
Has China stopped building its military? No. Has China stopped building islands in the Pacific? no. If Trump is correct that it is China and NOT Russia (he is wrong) that has just done the huge hack then it would make it also true that China has not worried itself about Trump and attacked the US in spite of Trump “being tough/”
Basically Trump has not been any more tough on China than his predecessors. His daughter manufactured her products there. MAGA hats are reported to be made in China as well. The truth is China is a thorny issue no matter who is President. So much of what American consumers buy is made in China. They do steal American technology. They have trillions of US Dollars and have helped the US Stock market that Trump has so often boasted about. BUT the next President will have tough decisions to make. Vested interests both on the right and left will resist for different reasons. China is an issue and a big one. Complicated but BIG.
Meanwhile Russia is also an issue. Why Trump cannot ever bring himself to criticize Putin, or react against Russian anti American actions we hope to one day find out. It’s one of two things. It could be as simple as Trump really wants that Trump Moscow tower and he wants to stay in the good graces of Putin thinking of the future. In other words his motivation is for his own personal interests versus USA interests. Or the Russians have something on him. It could be that they have real dirt – sex or whatever – or that it has been Russian money that has kept his company afloat which is why he has been strongly resistant to showing his taxes. Whatever the case there can be no more question that when it comes to Russia, Trump is on their team, not ours.