China State Media Says Biden, Antony Blinken's Views of China 'Identical' to Trump Administration

Chinese state media and Beijing officials expressed fears Tuesday that the Biden administration may embrace a "virtually identical" confrontational stance toward China as that of President Donald Trump.

China's state-run news outlets cautioned that Biden may be trying to "appear tough" after he recently walked back his campaign criticism of Trump's "disastrous" tariffs. Biden also nominated the new secretary of state who last week told the Senate, "Trump was right in taking a tougher approach to China." U.S.-China relations are dismal after years of a Trump-led trade war, Chinese human rights violations and continued sniping over the coronavirus pandemic's origins. But despite Trump and many Republicans claiming Biden will be cozy with the Chinese Communist Party, Beijing officials say the new U.S. administration may actually harbor the same "raging anti-China sentiment" as the last.

Editorials published by government mouthpieces reacted to White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki on Monday calling for "patience" under a barrage of questions about Biden's stance toward China. The People's Daily, one of China's largest state-run news outlets, warned readers that Biden is "not a cure for American malaise."

"Psaki's [patience] statement shows that the Biden administration's view and characterization of China is virtually identical to those of the Trump administration," the Global Times, one of China's largest outlets, cautioned in a Tuesday editorial. "Psaki stressed that 'We're in a serious competition with China'...which is a bipartisan consensus in the U.S."

"While that may seem like a sound decision-making process, as opposed to the erratic behaviors during the Trump presidency, there is a fundamental problem that cannot —as the extensive questioning at the White House press conference indicated—be overlooked: the actions of Biden's predecessor, particularly the hefty tariffs, will continue to damage the US economy, businesses and consumers," the Global Times editorial warned.

Biden has repeatedly stated that his primary focuses are on COVID-19 and the U.S. economy, but GOP critics have routinely accused "Beijing Biden" of looking to ease up on foreign-investment and international-trade restrictions against China. Chinese outlets say Psaki's call for "patience" means Biden is not willing to roll back trade tariffs or to make any other tangible changes to Trump's aggressive China stance in the coming months.

"If Biden would make such a move [lifting tariffs], certain anti-China hawks in the US Congress might come out and scrutinize Biden. Some former Trump officials, who have left in disgrace, would almost certainly pump up attempts to crucify Biden," the Global Times' Wang Cong wrote Tuesday, stressing that anti-China hatred runs deep in America, "most notably in the U.S. Congress."

"The essence of Trump's path is to rashly advocate strategic confrontation with China. The Biden administration wants to lead the US to a new path. But if it only changes its tactics at the superficial level without adjusting US strategic thinking, it is only putting old wine in a new bottle," the Global Times board wrote.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying last week described outgoing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as a "doomsday clown." On Tuesday, Biden's secretary of state nominee, Antony Blinken, was confirmed by the Senate. During hearings last week, Blinken said that while he doesn't support Trump's methods, he does agree with "the way Trump went about implementing his foreign policy toward China."

The U.S. State Department blasted Beijing for a larger military presence near Taiwan last week, which it says prompted deployment of an aircraft carrier strike group. Washington accused the Chinese government of "ongoing attempts to intimidate its neighbors," while Beijing outlets told its citizens they should get used to more of the same.

Newsweek reached out to Chinese embassy officials in Washington as well as the Biden White House Tuesday for additional comments.

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Protesters march to the U.S. Consulate General on February 5, 2017, in Hong Kong. LAM YIK FEI / Stringer/Getty Images