Links for Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Notable China news from around the web.

WORTH THINKING ABOUT

Pieces of news or analysis that caught our eye:

How “tough on China” would a President Biden be? Two recently published pieces give clues:

  • Pulled in many directions, Biden may keep Trump’s China tariffs in place / Reuters
    “Biden is backed by labor unions who want job protections and infrastructure spending, and progressives who want action on climate change, lower drug prices and human rights, while facing demands from farmers and U.S. corporations eager for tariff cuts and a less disruptive China trade relationship.”
  • Joe Biden’s China journey / NYT (porous paywall)
    “Mr. Biden now sees the country as a top strategic challenge, according to interviews with more than a dozen of his advisers and foreign policy associates, and his own words.”

Xí Jìnpíng 习近平 warned Trump of the severity of COVID-19 on February 6, and in tapes from February 7 published today by journalist Bob Woodward, Trump can be heard:

  • Indicating that Xi told him the virus was airborne.
  • Emphasizing that the novel coronavirus was at least five times deadlier than the seasonal flu — the opposite of his public message for more than a month afterward.

“I wanted to always play it down. I still like playing it down because I don’t want to create a panic,” Trump said in a separate tape from March 19.

More Trump administration intrigue: A whistleblower report from Department of Homeland Security official Brian Murphy says that he was told “to stop producing intelligence assessments on Russia and shift the focus on election interference to China and Iran.” The “instructions specifically originated from White House National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien.”

O’Brien, as well as Attorney General Bill Barr, have been saying that China poses more of an election interference threat than Russia, but this is the opposite of what American intelligence services have indicated, according to Politico.

MORE NEWS FROM AROUND THE WORLD

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