U.S. Election Won’t Resolve the World’s China Angst


Professor Carl Minzner shares his expert opinion on the effects the outcome of the presidential election will have on China and the world.

As the United States hunkers down for one of the most consequential elections in its history, it’s focused, rightly, on the question of whose votes get counted, how quickly and how justly. But as ever, one profoundly impacted constituency lacks the franchise: the rest of the world.

Policymakers from Beijing to Canberra to Delhi are too smart to express a rooting interest, but they’ll watch anxiously Tuesday as results roll in. Even with a winner declared, some things won’t change. Beijing believes the U.S. is locked in terminal decline and that it can manipulate Washington via Wall Street. Tokyo, Delhi and Canberra want a more consistent U.S. yet fear a post-election over-correction could mean America underestimates China (again). And Brussels is waiting to be convinced that Washington is serious about cooperating to confront the 21st century’s single toughest geopolitical challenge.

Watch to see whether Xi is elevated even further, says Fordham Law School professor Carl Minzner. “At a parallel Party plenum in 2017, Xi was enshrined by name in the Party’s ideological pantheon, an honor previously reserved for Deng Xiaoping and Mao Zedong alone,” he tells China Watcher. “Unsurprisingly, the following year, constitutional term limits were lifted on Xi’s role as state president.” This year, if Xi’s “signature phrase” is further shortened to something like “Xi Jinping Thought” or Xi is given a formal title like “People’s Leader,” that is a “clear signal that Xi is being elevated yet further” and telegraphs a continued “fading of the formal institutions of elite Party governance in favor of one-man rule.”

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