Former American national security adviser John Bolton disputed assertions that President-elect Joe Biden’s administration will be easier on China than President Donald Trump, saying that the outgoing US leader “could have done a 180” if Chinese President Xi Jinping offered any concessions on trade, reported the South China Morning Post.
Bolton said “the default position” was that the incoming administration will take a similar approach to China as Barack Obama’s, when Biden served as vice-president. “But I think the same thing could have happened had there been a second Trump term if Xi Jinping called him and said, ‘hey, congratulations on the election. Let’s talk about trade’,” Bolton said in an online discussion with Foreign Press Association director Ian Williams. “Trump could have done a 180 very easily.”
Trump “could tell from public opinion surveys in the United States and all across western Europe and most of the rest of world [that] public opinion on China was turning very negative, so then Trump became negative on China himself,” he added. “This is just absolute classic Trump behaviour because it reflected him pursuing public opinion.”