Sat, 28 Nov 2020

Washington [US], October 23 (ANI): At the final US presidential debate on Thursday, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden pledged that he would force China "to play by the international rules" regarding trade, treatment of foreign companies, and its actions in South China Sea, if he is elected to office.

"We need to be having the rest of our friends with us saying to China: these are the rules. You play by them or you're going to pay the price for not playing by them, economically," said Biden, reported Owen Churchill for The South China Morning Post.

Biden said President Donald Trump "embraces guys like thugs like [Kim Jong-un] in North Korea and the Chinese president [Xi Jinping] and [Russia's Vladimir] Putin and others, and he pokes his finger in the eye of all of our friends, all of our allies".

He further mentioned that an administration under his leadership would not tolerate intellectual property infringements of American companies operating in China - long an objective of the Trump administration - and vowed to "not pay attention" to any air defence identification zones set up by Beijing over the South China Sea.

Meanwhile, Trump sought to "pivot to unsubstantiated allegations" about Biden's alleged involvement in his son's previous business ventures in China, according to the article on South China Morning Post.

Subsequently pushed by the moderator Kristen Welker to elaborate on his previous pledge to "make China pay" for the spread of the coronavirus, Trump boasted of the various tariffs his administration had placed on imports from China since 2018.

The statements followed questioning from the moderator about Biden and Trump's respective visions for US policy towards China and how they would hold the Chinese government accountable for the spread of COVID-19.

The final debate took place at the Curb Event Center at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, moderated by Welker.

The debate was originally scheduled to take place on October 15, before it was cancelled following the Republican president's COVID-19 infection in early-October.

The earlier presidential debate held at Cleveland on September 29 was marred by frequent interruptions from Trump, leading to calls for the debate moderator to have the ability to cut off each candidate's microphone while their opponent spoke. (ANI)

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