Could backfire Trump's removal from the office

Trump's campaign tactic: attacks against China

"China will do everything to ensure that I lose the election," US President Donald Trump recently announced in the Oval Office. At the moment he doesn't seem to be missing an opportunity to attack the communist regime. Sometimes he threatens Beijing with new tariffs. Sometimes he claims to have evidence that the virus came from a research laboratory in the central Chinese city of Wuhan. And this despite the fact that his own secret services and many scientists around the world have concluded that the coronavirus came from an animal and was not artificially bred.

Trump's new attacks do not come as a surprise. They're a good way to divert attention from your own failure in the corona crisis and present a scapegoat for the pandemic to the American public: China. With the rising number of Covid-19 cases in the United States and the increasing number of deaths, many Americans are unsettled and frightened. anti-Chinese resentment is palpable and growing. According to a poll by the polling institute Pew Research Center, two-thirds of Americans see China in a negative light.

China the villain?

Trump's campaign team apparently believes that the US president could benefit from the verbal attacks on China in the campaign against his prospective challenger Joe Biden. Several election ads are currently circulating on social media. Their goal is to brand Joe Biden as China-friendly.

"Scapegoating China is not going to pay off politically for Donald Trump," said Michael Steele, a conservative political commentator and former chairman of the Republican National Committee. "All of the rumble and noise about China is just to distract from what Trump was saying about China when the whole thing started: He was full of deference back then, and he praised her for handling the disease in Wuhan and elsewhere. So I don't think it will really help him to say: China, you are the bad guy. "

Joe Biden met Xi in December 2013 when he was Vice President of the United States

Joe Biden strikes back

Trump's earlier admiration for China's President Xi Jinping is now capitalizing on Joe Biden's campaign team. You have produced an election spot that focuses on China. "Donald Trump praised the Chinese 15 times in January and February when the corona pandemic spread in the US," it says.

The political competition to see who would take harder and more decisive action against China could be eye-catching, warn activists like Rita Pin Ahrens, director of AOC, a non-profit organization that campaigns for the rights and interests of Americans with Asian roots. Agitation against China in the US election campaign could fuel hatred against Asian-looking people in the US.

An Asian store in the US state of Arizona

Increase in racist attacks

"As a result of the Corona crisis, there has been a huge increase in cases of discrimination and harassment against Americans of Asian origin in this country," says Rita Pin Ahrens. "There was everything from verbal attacks to spitting and spraying chemicals to direct violence - even against children."

Will criticism of China shape the US election campaign? Republican Michael Steele advises calm. "We Americans are self-centered when it comes to global issues. Most of them are not interested in international issues." He believes China will not play a central role.

Graffiti in Berlin shows Trump and China's President Xi (l.) In the Corona crisis

US economy as a key issue

However, Donald Trump used China and its trade practices to campaign for election as early as 2016. "Again, he uses the topic to serve his followers," says Capri Cafaro, policy expert at the American University in Washington. She expects Beijing's behavior in the Corona crisis to remain an issue. "But it will not be the focus of the election campaign."

She sees "leadership and temperament" as central issues in the fight for president in the USA. And of course also: the economy. Millions of Americans have already lost their jobs in the Corona crisis. The political scientist points out that a second wave of contagion could hit the US shortly before the presidential election. "What is missing is a cohesive national strategy in the fight against Covid-19," says Capri Cafaro. That could end up taking revenge for President Trump.