Beijing Says Trump Lost 'Rust-Belt States' Because of Trade War, 'Roaring Nationalism' Failed

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The Chinese Communist Party took a swipe at President Donald Trump losing several “Rust-Belt” states this year which he’d won in 2016, claiming through several government-run media pieces that his ongoing trade war with China is to blame.

Multiple state-run Beijing publications continue to openly mock Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for increasing trade sanctions they say are aimed at improving the “balance” of U.S. interests in the global marketplace. Pompeo announced an increase in sanctions against China Monday over human rights abuses in Hong Kong, which prompted state-run outlets to ridicule Trump’s election loss to Democratic candidate Joe Biden this past week. The Global Times on Monday said Trump lost manufacturing and farming states like Pennsylvania and Wisconsin because of his “roaring nationalism” which removed Americans from global trade.

“Four years ago, Trump won in the ‘Rust Belt states’ of Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. Given the logic of the U.S.-launched trade war, Trump should have won more. But he lost all of them this year,” the state-run Global Times editorial board wrote.

“It is hoped that Joe Biden would handle China-U.S. competition with a pragmatic attitude. China also attaches great importance to a ‘U.S. threat,’ but even in the hardest time, we still focus on ‘doing well in our own business.’ The West often accuses China of fanning the flames of nationalism. But when have Chinese people ever used roaring nationalism to replace the efforts to solve their own problems?” the Beijing outlet continued.

Biden, like much of Washington, has changed his pro-engagement stance on China since he was vice president, instead criticizing Xi Jinping as a “thug.” Despite Trump’s campaign claim that Biden will be “soft” on China, Biden’s platform seeks a shift from tariffs and arms sales to one promoting alliances and human rights.

Bloomberg financial journalist Tracy Alloway shared a chart Monday showing the Yuan, China’s currency, rallying to a two-year high in the first day of trading after Biden was projected by major news outlets as the election winner. “Wouldn’t it be ironic if the market reaction to Joe Biden’s victory ends up doing more to boost U.S. exports than Trump has managed to do in four years of an explicit trade war with China?”

The editor-in-chief of the Chinese state-media outlet, Hu Xijin, shared a video just prior to the U.S. elections of Americans boarding up businesses over concerns of post-election unrest. Hu said such this is “usually a complication of elections in poor countries.”

Hu, a frequent Trump administration critic, was immediately rebuked by many who see Beijing’s implementation of Hong Kong national security laws as a far more pressing issue.

U.N. Watch executive director Hillel Neuer replied to the Global Times editorial head, tweeting, “you don’t even have elections.”

Another state-run Chinese Communist Party outlet, China Daily, urged President-elect Biden to “revive trade talks” and reach out to “restore some understanding and trust in China-U.S. relations.” But that conciliatory tone was not shared by The People’s Daily state-run outlet, which literally laughed at Trump after the U.S. president tweeted the false claim Saturday that he’d won the election “by a lot.” In response, the state-run outlet remarked, “HaHa” and included a laughing emoji.

Terry Branstad, who spent three years as U.S. Ambassador to the People’s Republican of China, blamed China for the coronavirus pandemic before leaving the envoy post in September. Pompeo thanked Branstad, who left to go work for the Trump 2020 re-election campaign, saying he sought to “rebalance U.S.-China relations so that it is results-oriented, reciprocal and fair.”

Newsweek reached out to the Chinese Embassy in Washington Monday evening for additional remarks in addition to the Trump campaign but did not receive a reply before publication.

This photo taken on July 13, 2018 shows a Chinese employee sewing a US flag at a factory in Fuyang in China’s eastern Anhui province. – As the Sino-US trade war rages, a factory set amid corn and mulberry fields in central China stitches together US and “Trump 2020” flags — and business is good. CHINA/AFP/Getty Images