Chinese State Media Feels Biden’s Personnel Picks ‘Good For China,’ ‘Softer’ Than Trump


Chinese state-run media outlet China Daily insisted that Joe Biden’s picks for his foreign policy team were “good news for China.”

The paper, a registered foreign agent in the U.S., serves as a mouthpiece for the Chinese Communist Party. Therefore, its glaring endorsement of Joe Biden’s foreign policy team is cause for concern.

The piece – “Let’s hope Biden fixes blunders of predecessor” by European Bureau Chief Chen Weihua – insists “Biden’s announcement of his foreign policy team on Tuesday is good news for China”:

US president-elect Joe Biden’s announcement of his foreign policy team on Tuesday is good news for China and the world which have suffered dearly from the incumbent US administration’s disruptive and destructive “America first” policy.

The Chinese Communist Party-funded outlet also expresses approval of Tony Blinken for Secretary of State:

By appointing people such as veteran diplomat Tony Blinken as secretary of state, Biden seems to be bidding farewell to the unpredictability of the outgoing US administration.

Another state-run outlet, Global Times, shared a similar sentiment about Blinken’s potential to be “softer” on China, amplified by professors at Chinese Communist Party-run universities:

“Given his [Blinken’s] previous rhetoric on China-related issues and his past experience, his stance is softer than that of the current administration, which is likely to create a positive environment for the China-US relationship,” Diao Daming, an associate professor at the Renmin University of China in Beijing, told the Global Times on Monday. Blinken recently pledged to build stronger economic ties with the island of Taiwan and he said full decoupling from China was “unrealistic,” in contrast to the approach from President Donald Trump.  “He won’t be as provocative as the Trump administration on some of the issues of concern, like the Taiwan question, but the Democrats may take the island as an example on ideological matters,” Diao said. 

China Global Television Network peddled a similar narrative, drawing a stark contrast between Blinken and “shrill hawkish bully” Mike Pompeo:

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Unlike Mike Pompeo, the shrill hawkish bully he will succeed, Blinken is decidedly more win-win than zero-sum. Last summer he said that while the U.S. and China were definitely competitors, he’d like them to have a race to the top and not the bottom.

The China Daily article also notes “China welcomes the Biden team’s pledge to return to multilateralism” and offering praise for his selection of John Kerry as climate envoy. It also expresses hope that a Biden administration would reverse President Trump’s tough approach to the Chinese Communist Party:

In this sense, the new US administration has a lot to do to fix Trump’s blunders, from punitive tariffs on Chinese goods and bans on Chinese tech companies to persecution of Chinese news outlets and journalists based in the US and the Confucius Institutes that teach Chinese language and culture.

“The US under Biden’s leadership and China should work together to usher in a new era of bilateral relations for the betterment of the two countries and the world beyond,” it concludes.

Natalie Winters

Natalie Winters is freelance reporter.

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