Trump to implement China crackdown before Joe Biden takes office

President Trump is preparing a human rights and trade crackdown on China in the next two months in a bid to force President-elect Joe Biden to continue a hardline approach after he takes office Jan. 20.

A senior Trump administration official told The Post that “over the coming weeks, the Trump administration will continue to expand the depth and breadth of the historic actions it has taken over the past four years to protect the vital interests of the United States and Its allies countering Beijing’s predatory and coercive behaviors.”

Trump in 2018 launched a tariff-driven trade war with China — over Biden’s criticism — to force concessions that benefit U.S. companies, and Trump signed sanctions bills this year over China’s elimination of Hong Kong autonomy and suppression of Uighur Muslim minorities.

The administration official said that “actions being contemplated include protecting American technology from [Chinese military] exploitation, countering illegal, unreported, unregulated (IUU) fishing, and further sanctions against [Chinese Communist Party] officials or institutions causing harm in Xinjiang and Hong Kong.”

Trump initially developed a warm relationship with Chinese President Xi Jinping, hosting him in 2017 at his Mar-a-Lago resort. But the bond soured with Trump’s wide-ranging trade war and this year, Trump repeatedly accused China of allowing the COVID-19 pandemic to happen, calling it the “China virus” and accusing the communist nation of trying to cover up rather than deal with containing the virus in its early stages.

During the presidential campaign, Trump highlighted Biden’s advocacy for China joining the World Trade Organization in 2001 and claimed China would “own” the US if Biden won due to his son Hunter Biden’s business dealings.

John Ullyot, a spokesman for the White House National Security Council, said: “President Trump has absolutely changed the game when it comes to implementing strong actions on the Chinese Communist Party over the past four years and forging a bipartisan and international consensus on the need to counter Beijing’s harmful policies.”

The planned lame-duck actions against China were first reported Sunday by Axios.

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