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China wants Trump in 2020 because he won’t hold them accountable: op-ed

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Trump said he was ready for a "historic" deal with China as the leaders kicked off their meeting and Xi told him "dialogue" was better than confrontation AFP / Brendan Smialowski

China’s leaders are anxiously watching the 2020 election, and while some observers may think China wants Trump out, The Atlantic’s Michael Schuman says that’s not necessarily true.

“From Beijing’s perspective, while a Democratic presidency may restore a more predictable form of American diplomacy, that may not best serve Chinese interests,” Shuman writes. “In fact, four more years of Trump—though likely packed with annoyances and disputes—might present tantalizing opportunities for China to expand its influence around East Asia and the world.”

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While no one knows for sure who China prefers, there are clues as to their leanings. Former Chinese trade negotiator Long Yongtu reportedly told a Shenzhen conference last year, “We want Trump to be reelected; we would be glad to see that happen,” adding that Trump’s tweets make him “easy to read” and thus “the best choice in an opponent for negotiations.” In May, Hu Xijin, the editor of the Communist Party-run newspaper Global Timestweeted at Trump that the Chinese “wish for your reelection because you can make America eccentric and thus hateful for the world. You help promote unity in China.”

As Schuman points out, while Yongtu and Xijin don’t necessarily speak for the Chinese government, they wouldn’t dare say such things if they didn’t think they were reflecting the opinions of Chinese leadership.

So why would China prefer a president who spouts such adversarial rhetoric towards them? Probably because they don’t feel a threat.

“For China, that’s key. Although Trump has sometimes acted on political and human-rights issues Beijing finds highly sensitive—most recently, signing legislation to impose sanctions for the Chinese government’s abusive treatment of minority Uighurs—he personally has often appeared disinterested, even dismissive,” Shuman writes. “In a new book, Trump’s former national security adviser John Bolton claimed that Trump told Chinese President Xi Jinping over dinner in Osaka that the detention camps Beijing was building to control the Uighur community were the right thing to do. Trump also recently admitted that he delayed sanctions on officials involved with the camps to smooth negotiations for his coveted trade deal with China.”

Read the full op-ed over at The Atlantic.

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Trump and Bill Barr’s ‘bloodthirsty execution spree’ in his final months in office is unprecedented: op-ed

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In an op-ed for Slate this Tuesday, Austin Sarat says that the Trump administration's announcement that it would continue to carry out executions in the days and weeks leading up to the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden is a "bloodthirsty decision" that defies "the norms and conventions for modern presidential transitions."

"The Death Penalty Information Center reports that the last time an outgoing administration did anything remotely similar was more than a century ago, in 1889," Sarat writes. "At that time Grover Cleveland, the first Democrat to be elected president after the Civil War and the only president ever to have served as an executioner (when he was the sheriff in Erie County, New York), permitted three executions to proceed in the period between his electoral defeat and Benjamin Harrison’s inauguration in March 1889."

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‘I’m in tears’: Americans grateful after watching Biden deliver more presidential speech than Trump

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President-elect Joe Biden addressed the nation about the Thanksgiving holiday, encouraging Americans to keep wearing their masks and stay away from people outside of your bubble because there is a light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel of terror.

There are reports of vaccines possibly being available to healthcare and nursing home workers by the end of the year, which could help with over-crowding in hospitals.

Biden spoke about his family's large Thanksgivings and how hard it will be for him this holiday season without the crowd of Bidens. But he, like many Americans, are doing the right thing, he said, not just for his family but for every other family in the community.

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Trump pardons his disgraced national security advisor Michael Flynn

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President Donald Trump on Wednesday announced via tweet that he had pardoned his former national security advisor Michael Flynn.

https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/status/1331706255212228608?s=21

Flynn, who served as Trump's first national security adviser, resigned in 2017 after admitting that he had lied about his contacts with the Russian ambassador to the United States.

Flynn said in his resignation letter that he had “inadvertently briefed the Vice President Elect and others with incomplete information regarding my phone calls with the Russian ambassador. I have sincerely apologized to the president and the vice president.”

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