My long-standing, and incredibly, STILL non-consensus China/Trade view:
Consensus: China is not going to make a deal and hand Trump a win, they are waiting Trump out of office.
My view: China (as in Xi & CCP) absolutely wants a 2nd term for Trump- and will attempt to interfere in 2020 US elections to assist re-election (with/without Trump/anyone’s knowledge). Regardless of who occupies the WH in Jan 2021 and beyond, the CCP’s Western-capitalist electorate damaging economic agenda will finally be held to account, because this time, the voters are now keen. America/western liberal democracies will continue to press on China for unfair trade practices, decades of disobeying WTO rules, forced tech transfers & IP theft, state subsidies, FX manipulation & closed cap account, general rule of law- not to even get into human rights violations and territorial disputes. However, ANYBODY else (Dem, Rep) other than Trump will confront China by leveraging a coalition of US allies (EU, UK, Canada, Mexico, Japan, Korea etc) rather than go at it alone- and I literally mean alone- this is Beijing vs Donald Trump. Not an army of seasoned advisors across an array of departments from the world’s largest and most powerful economy, let alone a multinational coalition of developed economic adversaries – its just one guy who single handedly represents the entirety of United States. So as this day of economic reckoning had finally arrived (for real this time), if the choice is between a more “conventional” President with a similar economic mission vs Pres Trump, who constantly refers to President Xi as a “friend of mine” and seems to almost embrace authoritarianism, who is transactionally oriented and even hesitated signing the unanimously passed HK bill as he weighs implications of a trade deal, who despite tweets and sound bytes has shown to be an incredibly dovish Commander in Chief (even more so than some Dem candidates) which allows for China’s continued global ambitions without consequence particularly in the South China Sea and even if China were to greenlight a HK or Taiwan PLA conflict, who is dismantling global coalitions and pulling the US from leadership positions, inspiring ally nations to also turn inward… I think it’s clear that a President Trump has been a blessing for the CCP, who was already dealing with a massive credit bubble and economic contraction before Trump was even nominated- now allows the CCP to lower their “GDP figures” and point to Trump’s economic war, turning their pseudo-capitalist house of cards economic failures into nationalistic propaganda for the 1bn+ citizens — yes, Beijing’s choice is 4 more years of President Trump over anyone else, be it a President Warren, a President Biden, even a President Pence. And as they have such a preference, the CCP will undoubtedly interfere in the 2020 election process to ensure his re-election, whether it works or not, and whether Trump himself/anyone is aware of it or not. And no this is not a partisan political statement or rehashing Russia/2016 or Ukraine/2020- China has been proactively cyberattacking US companies and institutions for years, with far greater cyber capabilities than Russia- and should they get caught, apparently there are no repercussions.
Bottom line is- China is NOT “waiting out Trump and will be happy when he’s gone.” They are panicking what may happen if it’s anybody BUT Trump. Beijing is pro-Trump re-election, and, depending on polling and the state of the electorate’s affairs, will work publicly and behind the scenes in his favor as the election nears.