BEIJING (AFP) – President Donald Trump has frustrated and enraged China during a tumultuous first term, but Beijing may welcome his re-election as it scans the horizon for the decline of its superpower rival.
Relations are as icy as at any time since formal ties were established four decades ago, with China warning it does not want to be drawn into a new “Cold War” with the United States.
Under his “America First” banner, Mr Trump has portrayed China as the greatest threat to the US and global democracy.
He has launched a massive trade war that has cost China billions of dollars, harangued Chinese tech firms and laid all the blame for the coronavirus pandemic with Beijing.
But another Trump triumph in November may have its advantages for China as President Xi Jinping seeks to cement his nation’s rise as a global superpower.
China’s leadership could be handed “the opportunity to boost its global standing as a champion for globalisation, multilateralism, and international cooperation”, said professor of political and international relations Zhu Zhiqun of Bucknell University in Pennsylvania.