The Chinese government has signaled that it's happy to see Joe Biden in the White House instead of Donald Trump. But does it see Biden as a pushover because of his administration's many business ties to China, and could that somehow lead to a military miscalculation in the South China Sea?
Some experts believe these are dangerous times as the Chinese government probes to see if Biden will stand up to it.
"This is, I think, a far more dangerous time than it was under Trump," says China expert Gordon Chang. "I think (Chinese leaders) really were afraid of Trump. They were apprehensive because they couldn't predict him. I think that because Trump was unpredictable, that the risk of war was abnormally low. And apparently, they don't think very much of Biden. They think that they can push him around."
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The Biden administration's ties to China are many. Secretary of State Tony Blinken, Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines and White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki all worked for a consulting firm called WestExec Advisors, which helped businesses and universities get established in China and which on its webpage uses images that seem to offer access to the White House.
Benjamin Weingarten, a fellow at the Claremont Institute says there are "myriad cabinet members and other senior administration officials who are going to be responsible for implementing the president's agenda and crafting it with respect to communist China, who all have dealings at most two degrees separated from Chinese communist party, linked entities and individuals."
Those dealings have forced Biden's "Asia Czar" Kurt Campbell to agree to recuse himself from "conflicts of interest."
Hunter Biden made millions from China deals while his dad was the vice president in the Obama Administration.
Leaked emails from his laptop show repeated apparent references to Joe Biden as "the big guy."
It's led some to wonder whether the Chinese government could use what it knows about Hunter's activities in China to push for concessions from the White House? Weingarten said, "The conflict of interest appearance alone presents myriad ethics and corruption issues for Joe Biden. And just the fact that it's known that he has those dealings alone is potential leverage against Joe Biden."
While Biden has not yet reversed Trump's Chinese tariffs or travel restrictions, he has already made excuses for China's campaign of genocide against the Muslim Uighur people.
Meanwhile, China has become more aggressive since the Biden inauguration.
Incursions into Taiwan's airspace have increased.
Chinese aircraft conducted a simulated attack on the USS Theodore Roosevelt carrier group while it was sailing in the South China Sea.
And China's foreign minister has publicly warned the Biden White House not to meddle in China's affairs.
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