U.S. media: Trump will heavily sanction China before stepping down, Biden difficult to change

President Donald Trump plans to impose heavy-handed sanctions on China in his final 10 weeks before stepping down, according to US news site Axios, in an effort to solidify his China policy and make it difficult for his successor, Joe Biden, to change his current course.

The report quotes senior administration officials who are aware of the plan as saying that because of China’s tough approach towards India, Hong Kong and Taiwan, and the second wave of global blockade caused by the pandemic, Trump will implement a series of tough policies towards China, making it “politically untenable” for the Biden administration to change course.

The report further states that the Trump administration plans to sanction or restrict trade activities with more Chinese companies and government agencies, as these targets are involved in helping to violate human rights in Xinjiang and Hong Kong or threaten U.S. national security. Authorities will also take strict measures against China in the “Xinjiang forced labor camp” labor arrangements. But officials said don’t expect Trump to take greater action on Taiwan or close more Chinese consulates in the United States.

White House National Security Council spokesman John Ullyot said that unless Beijing changes course and becomes a responsible member on the international stage, a future US president who tries to change what Trump has done would be tantamount to ending his own political career.

According to the report, senior administration officials are discussing expanding a Defense Department list of Chinese companies linked to the PLA. Senior administration officials also revealed that the administration would use more China-hawk academics to take on important government posts. However, the report also noted that Biden’s transition team declined to respond to the report.