The promise reflects hardening hostility toward China among many Republicans. President Donald Trump came into office pledging to combat China on trade and later blamed China for the spread of Covid, which he often referred to publicly as “the China virus.”
Democrats also have been taking a tougher line on China, with President Joe Biden identifying as a primary national threat the authoritarian challenge to democracy posed by Chinese leader Xi Jinping and Russia’s Vladimir Putin. Biden has imposed sanctions on China over its treatment of ethnic minorities including Uyghurs. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi infuriated China by visiting Taiwan to show US support for the island, which China claims as its own.