US election: Trump and Biden attack each other’s record on China in appeal to voters during first debate

US election: Trump and Biden attack each other’s record on China in appeal to voters during first debate

  • Presidential campaign event sees more than a dozen references to China, even though American voters do not rate it as an issue
  • CBS poll finds over two-thirds of viewers surveyed were left feeling ‘annoyed’ by performances, while just 17 per cent felt ‘informed’ afterwards

US President Donald Trump faced repeated attacks over his China policy from his Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, as the two candidates faced off on Tuesday night in a combative first presidential debate.

White House aides had publicly expressed hope that China would come up on Tuesday night because, in the words of spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany, “we have a strong record to stand on”.When China did come up, however, Biden jumped at the opportunity to scrutinise that track record, accusing Trump of fawning over Chinese President Xi Jinping and pursuing a failed trade deal with Beijing.

“He talks about the art of the deal – China’s perfected the art of the steal,” the former vice-president said of Trump. “We have a higher deficit with China now than we did before.”