Since Donald Trump’s trade war with China has led to significant harm to that country’s economy — as well as our own — it’s unsurprising that the Chinese government announced today that it would not be inserting itself into the president’s grand scheme to use foreign powers to investigate his domestic political rivals, specifically Trump’s request to look into the activities of former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.
China has long pursued the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries,” foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said to The South China Morning Post. “We have no intention of intervening in the domestic affairs of the United States. Our position is consistent and clear.”
The Chinese reaction to Trump’s exhortation — which confirmed the worst fears alleged by the intelligence agency whistleblower who reported his attempt at soliciting the same type of illegal electoral interference from the president of Ukraine — was not unexpected, but it does mean that Trump’s risky move to hand-deliver yet another article of impeachment to the House of Representatives for consideration was a dismal failure.
Political observers speculated that Trump may have thought that the Chinese would see the call for assistance as a way to resolve the trade war that the president unilaterally launched with his imposition of tariffs on a considerable number of imported manufactured goods from China, the unstated quid pro quo that was left unsaid but widely understood to be part of Trump’s art of the crooked deal.
While Trump claims that he never directly asked President Xi Jinping of China to launch an investigation through official diplomatic channels, Trump’s public comments to reporters were clear.
“China should start an investigation into the Bidens, because what happened in China is just about as bad as what happened with Ukraine,” Mr. Trump told reporters on the White House lawn.
His suggestion came immediately after he commented on America’s upcoming trade talks, saying about China that “if they don’t do what we want, we have tremendous power.” No need for an explicit quid pro quo when the inference is clear.
In retrospect, China’s decision to reject the president’s calls to investigate one of his political rivals was entirely predictable, given that country’s long-standing policy rejecting outside pressure involving its own domestic affairs when it comes to human rights.
With Trump having already indicated that he doesn’t care in the least whether China launches a possible Tiananmen Square-style retaliation against the protestors involved in the civil unrest in Hong Kong, the risk to them of any U.S. intervention is low.
Moreover, given the damage that the Trump regime has already caused to the Chinese economy, the idea that President Xi would want to see his orange-hued adversary win another term was simply another one of President Trump’s ever more-frequent delusions.
The whole world can see the writing on the wall: that the Trump presidency won’t last until election day and that whatever damage he may try to inflict upon other nations in the meantime will be short-lived and quickly reversed once he leaves the White House kicking and screaming and hopefully in the custody of federal marshalls.
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Original reporting by Justin Wise at The Hill.