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Opinion
Hal Brands

Here’s Why China Wants Trump to Win

The U.S.-led global order hasn’t been under this much stress in 70 years.

Taking it sitting down.

Taking it sitting down.

Photographer: Nicolas Asfouori/AFP/Getty Images

Why would the government of China — a country that President Donald Trump has hit with tariffs and sanctions, blamed for the coronavirus pandemic, and labeled as the greatest threat to American security — reportedly be rooting for Trump’s re-election in 2020?

Perhaps because Chinese officials realize what former National Security Adviser John Bolton’s recent tell-all book underscores: The damage Trump is doing to U.S. power and the global democratic community outweighs any harm he is doing to Beijing. Another four years of Trump will magnify that damage, so the 2020 election is taking on historic importance in determining the shape of the modern world.