2020 Election

Biden the Preferred Dem on China Trade Policy, Chinese State-Owned Firm Says

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A Chinese state-owned securities conglomerate singled out Joe Biden for praise as a "rare candidate" who supports trade policies favorable to the country's Communist government, according to a translated copy of a company research report obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

The analysis, drafted by Guotai Junan Securities and posted publicly on its website during the U.S. primaries, identified Biden as the best candidate out of the major Democratic contenders on China trade policy. The report provides a glimpse into Beijing's assessment of Biden and other U.S. political leaders, as well as a list of U.S. states that China perceives as battlegrounds for its national policy interests in the 2020 election.

"Former U.S. vice president Biden, who currently ranks first in the Democratic Party’s approval rating, is a rare candidate who opposes the Sino-U.S. trade friction," said the report. "Biden has expressed his opposition to Sino-US trade frictions on multiple public occasions and believes that ‘all the wrong methods' have been used to deal with Sino-U.S. trade."

Biden, the report continued, was one of "only four Democratic candidates [who] believe that Sino-U.S. relations can complement each other for a win-win situation." The other candidates named were Andrew Yang, Seth Moulton, and Wayne Messam—all long-shot contenders who never hit above single digits in national polling.

The company's analysis adds fuel to the notion that Biden is China's preferred candidate. In August, U.S. intelligence officials issued an assessment saying that China was attempting to interfere in the 2020 election to damage President Trump's chances and "shape the policy environment in the United States."

Since 2018, Trump has ramped up tariffs on Chinese imports in an effort to reduce the trade deficit and combat what he views as China's unfair trade practices, intellectual property theft, and national security encroachment.

Guotai Junan is one of China’s largest state-owned security brokerages. The company said it based its analysis on the candidates' "attitudes toward China" and "policies toward China during the Democratic primary election debates and election campaigns." Guotai Junan did not respond to a request for comment.

The report identified five senators, Marco Rubio (R., Fla.), Mike Braun (R., Ind.), Johnny Isakson (R., Ga.), David Perdue (R., Ga.), and Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.), as problematic for China on trade issues.

Sens. John Cornyn (R., Texas), Ted Cruz (R., Texas), and Richard Burr (R., N.C.) were also listed as key opponents of China on military and security policy.

The report named 25 states that China views as crucial for its policy interests in the 2020 election. Among them are Michigan, Pennsylvania, Florida, Wisconsin, Arizona, Colorado, and Georgia.

"The attitudes of these 25 states toward China are vital to Trump’s reelection. Moreover, the policy propositions of senators in each state are important to us," said the report. "And they can provide a good perspective for our prediction of the trend of Trump's China policy and Sino-U.S. trade negotiations in the later period."

Last year, Guotai Junan Securities took over CEFC China Energy, a faltering Chinese energy conglomerate that was implicated in a 2017 U.S. federal bribery case.

Joe Biden's son, Hunter, acknowledged that he received a "large diamond" from the CEFC's then-chairman in 2017 and was a business consultant for the energy company on a natural gas deal in Louisiana. He also received $1 million from CEFC in 2018, purportedly for legal work related to the company's bribery case, according to banking records obtained by the Senate Homeland Security Committee.