2020 Election

Chinese Propagandists Bolster Biden

'Beijing is For-Biden City'

Xi Jinping, Joe Biden
Chinese president Xi Jinping and then-U.S. vice president Joe Biden / AP

A Chinese propagandist signaled on Twitter that he welcomed the prospect of a Biden White House in the days after the U.S. presidential election.

Hu Xijin, the editor in chief of the Global Times, shared a forum post from a "smart netizen" who said that Beijing is a "For-Biden City" that will welcome Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden's electoral victory. He also noted in a separate tweet that Chinese netizens are drawn to Biden's story of overcoming personal and family tragedies.

"If Biden elected, i really sure relation between China and USA gonna be normalized. Because Beijing is For-Biden City," the forum post read.

Even as Hu praised Biden, Chinese propaganda organs have used the contentious election as an opportunity for hostile levity against its geopolitical rival since Tuesday. China Central Television (CCTV), the country's national broadcaster, brought on commentators to call the United States the "loser" of the election, while a state-owned outlet in Hong Kong wrote that "so-called US-style democracy has descended into a joke."

While most of these mocking stories were written in Mandarin for a domestic Chinese audience, Global Times, a nationalist tabloid known for inflammatory coverage even by China's standards, published an English-language piece that mocked President Donald Trump and said Chinese netizens are watching the election for "laughs" and "comicalness."

"The ongoing neck-and-neck US presidential election has … also become a high-impact topic among curious Chinese netizens," the Global Times article read. "However, instead of giving birth to division, violence and aguish [sic] as it has to many in the US; in China, the election has mainly served as entertainment; a sneak-peek into the US and its chaotic society."

The Chinese state outlet's reports on the U.S. election are in line with its usual behavior, which often highlights a democratic system's more chaotic and uncertain elements to delegitimize it. One CCTV story, the "Calm Before the Storm," said the election might lead to widespread riots, while a government-linked Twitter account disseminated videos of boarded-up buildings in the United States.

While official sources appear to be limiting their commentary until the outcome is officially settled, Hu's pro-Biden stance is in line with the country's leadership, according to an American intelligence analysis. Chinese propagandists published articles indicating preference for the former vice president in the months leading up to the election, considering him a more "predictable" candidate than Trump or Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.).

"Many Chinese analysts predict that … the proposed Democrat platform on foreign policy showed that if Biden wins, the US will remain tough on China," an August Global Times article read. "So Beijing should remain vigilant. But tactically, the US approach would be more predictable, and Biden is much smoother to deal with than Trump—a viewpoint that is shared by many countries."