Donald Trump Seeking to 'Hamstring' Joe Biden With Anti-China Moves, State Media Says

President Donald Trump is trying to "hamstring" Joe Biden and dictate the incoming administration's policies toward Beijing by initiating a "final frenzy" of moves against China, Chinese Communist Party newspapers said this week.

With just two weeks left in the White House, the president has since begrudgingly conceded defeat in a statement issued early Thursday, following the previous day's violence and riots on Capitol Hill.

However, his upcoming departure from office on January 20 has not deterred his administration's "anti-China" policies, which it says is aimed at putting a check on Beijing's national security threat.

President Trump on Tuesday banned all U.S. transactions with eight Chinese software applications, including popular mobile payment platforms Alipay and WeChat Pay. Also this week, after some delay and confusion, the New York Stock Exchange announced it would be carrying out an order to delist three Chinese telecom firms.

China's foreign ministry described the latest measures as "arbitrary," accusing the United States of "wantonly bullying foreign companies."

At a regular press conference on Wednesday, the ministry's spokesperson, Hua Chunying, said the Trump administration was degrading the U.S.' position as an inclusive, rules-based financial hub.

In separate analyses this week, Communist Party-owned publications Global Times and China Daily concluded that President Trump's late moves against Beijing were done in an attempt to secure his "political legacy" as one of China's toughest ever opponents.

Trump was setting a trap to "hamstring his successor Joe Biden," said the former. The policies, which will be difficult for the president-elect to reverse, would essentially shape his administration's future relationship with China, making it difficult for Biden to mend ties with Beijing.

Chinese state-owned tabloid Global Times predicted Trump "might unleash a frenzy of dramatic actions against China in his final days in ill attempts to save his 'political legacy' after a bitter loss in domestic elections."

"To a certain degree, Beijing's perception is probably correct," said Professor Yeh-chung Lu, of National Chengchi University's Department of Diplomacy in Taiwan.

"It makes it very costly to reverse all the policies made by Trump, but at the same time, the Biden administration has room to maneuver," he told Newsweek. It presents an opportunity for Biden to leverage Trump's policies, such as trade tariffs, against Beijing.

President-elect Biden has signalled that he will seek cooperation from China on issues including climate change and nonproliferation, while confronting the Chinese government on its human rights violations.

Lu said the approach was "pragmatic."

"President Trump was so eager to win, he tried to link all issue areas together, and to put America first," the professor added. "How will Biden define America first? To Biden, on different issue areas, there may be room for cooperation."

Taiwan question

The Trump administration's vocal support for Taiwan has also been a hot button issue, one which regularly evokes a stern response from Beijing officials. While the backing is positive and in general welcomed by Taipei, the perception is that the current U.S. government is using the island as a tool in its fight against Chinese regional influence, say Lu and other analysts.

While condemning the mass arrests by Hong Kong authorities of 53 pro-democracy activists on Wednesday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo revealed that Kelly Craft, U.S. representative to the United Nations, would be visiting Taiwan, in a move widely expected to further escalate diplomatic tensions between Washington and Beijing.

Craft's visit is "positive" for U.S.-Taiwan relations, Lu said. "But what are the follow-ups?"

"Trump seems to use Taiwan as leverage to try and antagonize China. I don't think it's in Taiwan's interest," Lu added.

Taiwan's foreign ministry spokesperson Joanne Ou confirmed Craft's upcoming trip to Taipei but disclosed no further details in the statement sent to Newsweek on Thursday.

"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs extends its sincere welcome to Ambassador Kelly Craft," she said.

The U.S. official, who has voiced support for Taiwan in the past, would be the first serving American ambassador to the U.N. to visit the country, marking another step forward for relations between Taipei and Washington, Ou added.

President Trump Addresses Campaign Crowd
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