In Trump-Biden debate chaos, China is the big winner

In an ugly presidential debate, one of the few things Donald Trump and Joe Biden agreed upon was China.

Both criticised each other for being too soft on Beijing, with Trump accusing Biden of being hoodwinked by China during his time as vice president and Biden hitting Trump for saying “what a great job” Chinese Presiden Xi Jinping was doing at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.

While Beijing would rather not be a topic of United States election, the whole debate will have raised spirits in the Chinese capital.

For decades, Beijing has criticised US-style democracy, holding up flaws in the American system as vindication for Chinese authoritarianism.

During the debate, Trump helped to bolster that view, and in turn, further erode global confidence in US-style democracy.

Towards the end of the debate, Trump attacked mail-in voting and urged his supporters “to go into the polls and watch very carefully” for what he implied could be an attempt to steal the election.

“This is going to be a fraud like you’ve never seen,” said Trump. “This is a horrible thing for our country. This is not going to end well.”

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