Biden administration will be a bigger problem for China than Trump administration: Jim O’Neill

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LONDON, NOV 29  – Joe Biden’s presidency will be a bigger problem for the Chinese government than Donald Trump’s nearly four-year presidency, economist Jim O’Neill, chairman of the British research institute Chatham House, told.

Trump has taken a different approach to US-China relations by unilaterally imposing tariffs on Beijing. The US president has often criticized China on Twitter and sparked a trade war with China that has had a negative effect on the global economy.

This policy differs greatly from the European approach, for example, which often negotiates trade disputes with China using traditional institutions such as the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the G20.

President-elect Biden will also call for these agreements to be negotiated through multilateral institutions, which could mean more concrete action against China.

“I think the Chinese are more concerned with a Biden administration than a Trump administration,” said O’Neill, a former chief economist at Goldman Sachs and now president of Chatham House, suggesting that Biden’s team “has stronger philosophical beliefs.” in key issues.

“They (Biden’s team) will use existing multinational forums to try to force China to meet the standards of such international forums, whether it’s the WHO, the G20, the World Bank, and so on. and so on Than this “style of negotiation so loved by Trump,” he added.

Chinese President Xi Jinping called Biden earlier this week to congratulate him on his election victory. According to media reports, Xi said he hopes the two countries will uphold the spirit of “non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect” when managing their differences.

One of the many points of tension between the US and China has been linked to climate change. Before the Trump presidency, Washington and Beijing often clashed over how to address high carbon dioxide levels.

However, US climate ambitions have changed with Trump, and pressure on China to step up its emissions efforts has eased somewhat. Beijing also changed its position in September – just weeks after the US presidential vote – announced its goal of reducing carbon emissions to zero by 2060.

“In a strange way, it might already force China to think a little differently,” O’Neill said of the impact of the US election on China.