Beijing’s leadership has been reticent in its response to Trump’s infection. State-run news agency Xinhua published two lines Saturday saying China’s leader, Xi Jinping, wished the U.S. president and first lady a speedy recovery — a day behind many other heads of state including North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Taiwan’s Tsai Ing-wen.
Foreign relations experts say China and other U.S. rivals are likely weighing their options for geopolitical action while Washington is preoccupied by the West Wing outbreak.
Many in Taiwan were nervous Saturday that they could become a target. But spontaneous policy action is out of character for Xi, and scholars say he would be loathe to provoke Washington into an even harsher confrontation.
“Maybe this is an opportunistic moment and just because Trump is at Walter Reed they are going to bust a move,” said Shelley Rigger, an East Asia politics expert at Davidson