Trump Tries To Paint Biden As China’s Choice In Conspiratorial RNC Speech

US President Donald Trump delivers his acceptance speech for the Republican Party nomination for reelection during the final day of the Republican National Convention from the South Lawn of the White House on August ... US President Donald Trump delivers his acceptance speech for the Republican Party nomination for reelection during the final day of the Republican National Convention from the South Lawn of the White House on August 27, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images) MORE LESS
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August 28, 2020 12:20 a.m.

Midway through his speech at the Republican National Convention Thursday night, with the White House as his backdrop, President Donald Trump said Joe Biden had “cheered the rise of China as a positive development for America and the world.” 

Then Trump cocked his head and said, “That’s why China supports Joe Biden and desperately wants him to win — I can tell you that upon very good information.” 

The implication that the President was referring to secret intelligence drew laughter from the crowd, but Trump kept going, returning to his teleprompter. 

“China would own our country if Joe Biden got elected,” he declared.

It’s not the first time Trump sought to cast Biden as China’s candidate of choice. In a radio interview earlier this month, for instance, Trump said, “If I don’t win the election, China will own the United States. You’re going to have to learn to speak Chinese.”

But Trump’s convention speech and others, notably from the hawkish Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton on Thursday, marked a ramping up in the Trump campaign’s effort to paint Biden as China’s preference in 2020.

“President Trump is clear-eyed about the Chinese threat and he is making China pay,” Cotton said.

“But China’s not giving up,” Cotton added. “In fact, they’re rooting for Joe Biden.” 

In addition to highlighting Biden’s past support for international trade deals that, RNC speakers asserted, benefited China, the convention programming at one point used a sepia-toned video montage to string together ominous snippets of unrelated China news, reports on Joe Biden’s son’s Hunter’s dealings in the country, and Biden’s own comments on foreign policy. It painted a dark and conspiratorial picture, even if the exact lesson to be learned from this montage was murky.

In between video clips of Biden talking about China at an event last year — he was downplaying the extent to which he saw China as the “competition” — the RNC’s montage slammed block letters like a movie trailer:

“WHAT DOES IT TAKE …
TO STEAL OUR IDEAS …
TO BUY OUR INFLUENCE …
AND CONTROL OUR LEADERS …
JUST ASK JOE BIDEN …
TIME IS RUNNING OUT …
CHINA HAS INFILTRATED …
THE AMERICAN ESTABLISHMENT …
AND THEY HAVE CHOSEN THEIR NEW CANDIDATE …
JOE BIDEN FOR CHINA.” 

The messaging may be an attempt to address some of Trump’s weaknesses: He has business interests in the country himself, and the Chinese government has granted companies controlled by him and his daughter Ivanka multiple trademarks since Trump took office. Former national security adviser John Bolton even accused Trump of attempting to cut a deal with the Chinese government to help himself politically.

And while Trump on Thursday pumped up his reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic — and again referred to it as the “China virus” — he initially praised China’s response to the virus for months after the first case was confirmed in the United States.

Near the end of his speech, Trump uncapped a canned line that the Republican Party’s twitter account boosted a few minutes later, and which seemed likely to make the rounds ahead of Nov. 3.

“Joe Biden’s agenda is Made in China,” the President declared. “My agenda is made in the USA.”

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