CNN reports that President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden are preparing to fight over their relationship with Chinese President Xi Jinping, and have begun drawing him into the 2020 election fray. Given the importance of the geopolitical relationship between the U.S. and China, along with the latter’s rise in power, Jinping is likely paying close attention.
On Friday, Trump attacked Biden and invoked Jinping, suggesting that the former Vice President couldn’t handle him.
“Sleepy Joe. He’s a pretty sleepy guy. He’s not going to be able to deal with President Xi. That’s a different level of energy and, frankly, intelligence,” Trump said of Biden.
According to RealClearPolitics, Trump made the comments in an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity, who asked him what comes to mind when he hears to name “Biden.”
“So, I thought to refer to him as Sleepy Joe, because — a lot of people wanted me to take the word ‘sleepy’ to something that rhymes with it. Does that make sense to you? And I thought it was too nasty.”
Earlier this year, Trump said that he previously told Xi that his power was regal.
“He said, ‘But I am not king, I am president.’ I said ‘No, you’re president for life, and therefore you’re king.'”
As Trump gets closer to a huge trade deal with China, he will likely use his current relations with Jinping to drive his 2020 reelection argument. But as CNN reports, this could backfire, given the fact that Biden knows Jinping just as well — maybe even better — than Trump does, thanks to his time at the Obama administration.
“I’ve spent as much time with Xi Jinping as anybody has,” Biden said during his midterm election trail.
Trump told Hannity last night that Biden doesn’t have the energy or intelligence to deal with Xi Jinping but Obama put Biden in charge of courting Xi before he even became president of China. https://t.co/GFhd3XoyEi— David Nakamura (@DavidNakamura) April 26, 2019
Trump is currently attempting to address Chinese currency policy, intellectual property theft, the vast trade deficit, and cyber espionage. Although past presidents have done the same, they never achieved significant diplomatic success — something Trump might be the first to do. But many people in the United States business community expect the agreement to be more limited than what Trump is aiming to accomplish, although they believe that he will hail his achievement as historic regardless.
Nevertheless, a large number of grassroots Democrats and lawmakers believe that the president’s approach to the U.S.-China trade relationship is positive. CNN reports that this shift in Democratic Party politics will be a change for Biden, one that might force him to adopt a similar style of relations with Jinping. This would involve retaining close ties with him while simultaneously implementing policies that counter China’s actions that are detrimental to the U.S. and its allies.