If Democratic Party candidate Joe Biden wins the election, Beijing would also press harder on U.S. allies in the Asia-Pacific region, said Hanson, who is a senior fellow at the Stanford University-based think tank Hoover Institution.
On The Epoch Times’ “American Thought Leaders” program, Hanson said Beijing sees Biden as someone who would work with the communist regime—“a sign of weakness to be exploited.”
While many media outlets have declared Biden the winner of the presidential election, The Epoch Times will not call the race until all results are certified and any legal challenges are resolved.
Hanson analyzed Beijing’s view of the election: “I think they’re going to be much more confident now because of the Biden victory, because I think their chief nemesis and biggest worry is gone if Trump loses.”
The Trump administration has confronted the Chinese Communist Party on a range of issues, including unfair trade practices, espionage, malign influence in the United States, security threats posed by Chinese technology, and human rights abuses in Xinjiang and Hong Kong.
Without a hardline policy toward China under Biden, Hanson said the regime would put pressure on Australia, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan, all key U.S. allies in the Indo-Pacific region.
He said Beijing could “send something into the waters off Taiwan” and see how Biden reacts.
Beijing views Taiwan as a part of its territory and has threatened to use military force to bring the island under its fold. It also opposes governments or international organizations from forming ties with the island that might suggest the real situation—that Taiwan is a de-facto independent country with its own democratically-elected government, military, currency, and constitution.
Bilateral ties between Washington and Taipei have warmed considerably in recent months under the Trump administration, which sees Taiwan as an important ally in its Indo-Pacific strategy. In recent months, two senior U.S. officials visited Taiwan, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and Undersecretary of State Keith Krach.
Upset by the cordial U.S.–Taiwan relations, Beijing has held military exercises near its coastal waters and sent military planes near the island in recent months. According to Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense, thus far China has violated Taiwan’s airspace on 11 different days during the month of November.
“I think they’re [Beijing] delighted [at a Biden victory], and I expect them to be very cautious but very, very definite in the trajectory in which they want to move—and that is to press, press, press,” Hanson said.