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For China, at least, U.S. President Donald Trump is the gift that keeps on giving. His calamitous response to the COVID-19 pandemic has made China, whose government mishandled the initial outbreak in January this year, look like an exemplar of effective governance. Moreover, Trump’s “America First” foreign policy has alienated traditional U.S. allies, making it difficult to build a broad coalition to counter China.

To be sure, Trump has delivered painful blows to Chinese President Xi Jinping. His trade and technology wars are demolishing U.S.-China commercial relations, and his administration’s support for Taiwan has infuriated Chinese leaders. But as American voters prepare to head to the polls on Nov. 3, Trump seemingly has one more gift to give to Xi: an election meltdown.

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