US election uncertainty strains Americans in China

By Javier Garcia

Beijing, Nov 4 (efe-epa).- Americans in China, the “enemy” country of Republican incumbent Donald Trump, tensely awaited the US presidential election outcome while the Chinese did not appear concerned, although most favor Democrat Joe Biden.

Dozens of people followed the count early on Wednesday morning through CNN on large screens scattered around a restaurant-bar in downtown Beijing.

The vast majority of those present preferred a Biden victory, knowing that a Trump win would worsen relations with China and make life difficult for the Asian country.

Visa applications and renewals for US residents has become more complicated in recent months, amid growing tensions between the two world superpowers.

The trade war, Washington’s increasing vetoes over Chinese technology companies and Trump’s attacks on the Beijing government, blaming it for the pandemic, have aggravated US relations with China.

Tom Richmond, a young Minnesota telecommunications engineer who has lived in Beijing for three years, scrutinized the results in different states on his laptop.

“Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin are key. If Biden loses these three states it’s over for him,” he said at noon local time, when it was known that Trump had won crucial states such as Florida and Ohio.

Hours later, when the current president came out to claim victory, Richmond and his group of five American friends were holding hands.

“It’s not fair that he is claiming victory and talking about fraud with no evidence. My country has become a Banana Republic,” protested Texan Walter Thorwe, a friend of the engineer and professor of English at a language academy in the capital.

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