Former 2020 Democratic presidential candidate and former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Pete Buttigieg is reportedly being floated as the next U.S. Ambassador to China. Many analysts see the potential post as a way to propel Buttigieg deeper into the political sphere and strengthen his next presidential run. And, while the 38-year old former mayor does not speak Chinese or have much direct experience with China, his midwestern background and his support for hard-hit American farmers could boost his credibility.
Buttigieg penned an op-ed earlier this year for the Washington Post about Trump's fumbling of China-U.S. relations, which he says hurt Americans in the process. "The president's vaunted 'phase one' trade agreement, on the heels of a trade war that cost tens of billions of dollars and pushed many American farmers into bankruptcy, is unlikely to even recoup its own costs, and has made no real progress on the original casus belli: the theft of intellectual property and unfair subsidies," he wrote in May.
Besides the China post, it was also announced that Katherine Tai will be nominated by Biden to be the U.S.'s next top trade representative. Tai, who is a trade lawyer by practice and is fluent in Mandarin, has a history of being tough on China. If confirmed, Tai, who is Taiwanese-American, would be the first woman of color to take up the position. "Under Biden, Tai could be instrumental in implementing the strategy of recruiting allies and ganging up on China at the WTO," according to Wu Xinbo, director of Fudan University's American studies center. Read more on Professor Wu Xinbo's interpretation of the U.S.-China relationship on China-US Focus.
Prepared by China-US Focus editorial teams in Hong Kong and New York, this weekly newsletter offers you snap shots of latest trends and developments emerging from China every week, while adding a dose of historical perspective.