Chinese state media warns Trump is preparing a 'final madness' on Beijing, as reports say his team are readying weighty sanctions to mark his final weeks

Chinese state media warns Trump is preparing a 'final madness' on Beijing, as reports say his team are readying weighty sanctions to mark his final weeks

November 18, 2020
  • China's state-run Global Times tabloid said that President Donald Trump is likely to unleash a "final madness" against Beijing to mark his final weeks in office.
  • Axios and Bloomberg reported that the Trump administration is planning to sanction entities involved in persecuting Hong Kong and the Uighur Muslims, as well as combating illegal fishing and protecting US tech companies from China.
  • The Global Times said that Trump was likely trying to store up ammunition with which to criticize President-elect Joe Biden for being weak on China in future elections.
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Chinese state media say Beijing can expect a "final madness" from Donald Trump, following reports that the president is planning a show of strength before he leaves office in January.

Bloomberg and Axios reported earlier this month that Trump is considering weighty sanctions and aggressive strikes against China to mark the last weeks of his presidency.

According to the outlets, possible moves include:

  • Additional sanctions against party officials and institutions involved in China's crackdown on Hong Kong.
  • Sanctions against party officials and institutions involved in the persecution of Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang.
  • Combating illegal fishing.
  • Directives to shield US tech companies from Chinese exploitation.

On Monday, an editorial in the state-run Global Times tabloid said the reports signaled that Trump was likely to unleash a "final madness" against Beijing.

"The shift in China policy is the Trump administration's biggest 'diplomatic legacy,' and they want to prevent a rebound in the China policy after they leave the office," the editorial said.

The outlet added that Trump was likely trying to make a statement so that he could attack Biden for being weak on China if he runs again in 2024 — which Trump and his Republican allies have reportedly talked up in recent weeks.

"The new administration will continue to live in the shadow of 'Trumpism.' Even if Biden makes technical adjustments to its China policy, the Republican Party can also criticize his 'being weak' to China and stir up trouble in the 2022 midterm election and the 2024 presidential election," the outlet said.

In a separate article about the threat of the sanctions, the Global Times wrote that Trump may also sanction China over the country's mission to control the South China Sea and its attempts to bring the island of Taiwan to heel.

John Ullyot, a spokesman for the National Security Council, told Bloomberg: "Unless Beijing reverses course and becomes a responsible player on the global stage, future US presidents will find it politically suicidal to reverse President Trump's historic actions." 

Trump has already imposed some new sanctions on Chinese companies since his election loss. 

On Thursday, he signed an executive order banning US companies from investing in 31 Chinese companies that had recently been sanctioned over links with China's People's Liberation Army.

Trump has refused to concede the election, and has made repeated allegations of voter fraud without giving evidence. His campaign has filed several lawsuits in multiple states that seek to have votes recounted, though many have already been thrown out.

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