The Trump campaign has been running ads accusing Biden of being soft on China. That avenue of attack – always dubious, as it was Trump who started a trade war with China to the detriment of American consumers and farmers – has now slipped away, as the allegation’s in Bolton’s book now place Trump at the center of a scheme to solicit Chinese help with his, Trump’s, re-election.

One does not have to support Bolton’s preferred policies or maneuvering to see that, as a political matter, Bolton’s account of Trump’s wheedling for Chinese electoral support, condoning of Chinese concentration camps, and praise for China’s dictator makes discussion of China disadvantageous for Trump.

The ad for the Lincoln Project is called Chyna, by the way, because Trump often pronounces the country’s name that way, in a childish attempt to mock Chinese speakers’ pronunciation into English.

There are sound, imperative reasons to oppose China’s dictatorship; there’s no reason to think that Trump has acted on any sound basis.

See also Bolton book dismantles Wall Street narrative of Trump as a China hawk (“Bolton depicts a president in over his head on the world stage, in thrall to his authoritarian counterpart, Chinese President Xi Jinping, and motivated primarily by desperation to cut a trade deal he could tout on the campaign trail. Most damning, Bolton writes that Trump centered trade negotiations on his own reelection bid, explicitly seeking Xi’s help in his race.”)

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