What is President Trump’s foreign policy? On one hand, he seems to think America should mind our own business. On the other hand, he looks like a neo-con, believing America, and America alone, should continue to dominate the world. The neo-con view is not only totally unreal, but also utterly dangerous.
In this post, I will highlight the challenges for President Trump in the real world of Three New Kingdoms (i.e. America, China, and Russia) and provide him with some candid advice.
The image below highlights the relationships between the three countries today.
3. China-Russia alliance
A long-term alliance between China and Russia was cemented in 2014, as a result of the Ukraine crisis. For more, read: Three New Kingdoms.
The image below highlights the China-Russia alliance. Anybody with any sense of geography, history, and modernity should understand the implication of this formidable alliance to America as well as to the world.
Economic stability at home, for which Russia needs China to provide many of its daily material needs in exchange for natural resources. In other words, no western sanctions against Russia will work, so long as Russia keeps its huge back-door to China open!
High oil prices, for which Russia needs to maintain and expand its global influence, especially in the Mideast.
National pride: "Make Russia Great Again". Russia is a pride country, and must hence maintain, and even gradually expand, its sphere of influence, for which it must have, and keep, Crimea for access to the Black Sea.
Bottom line: Russia relies on China for survival, but does not need America at all, other than wishing America not to further mess up in the Mideast and Ukraine!
Very importantly, Russia does not need Europe for survival, but Europe needs Russian gas for cooking and staying warm in the winter (see image below).
4.2 What does China need?
Simply put, China needs four things:
Political stability at home, for which China must constantly improve, as its system (i.e. state capitalism) is only slightly better than America's.
Economic stability at home, for which China must keep its high growth going for years, if not decades, to come.
A peaceful world, as China wants to trade with everybody and needs natural resources, mostly from Russia and the Mideast.
National pride: "Make China Great Again". China is a world leader and must maintain, and expand, its sphere of influence. China will never compromise on Taiwan or the South China Sea. For more, read: Understanding China, Truly!
Bottom line: China needs Russia for natural resources. China needs America as a trading partner.
Political reforms at home: It's a must and I have already spelled out how in my new book (American Democracy). It's now up to President Trump as to how far he wants to go. For more, read: Donald Trump 2.0.
Economic stability at home: President Trump has already created a hugely improved pro-business environment at home. However, America needs China for everyday things, from toilet paper to clothing.
Curtailing its military ventures overseas, especially in the Mideast and Afghanistan.
National pride: "Make America Great Again". America is deeply in trouble, both at home and abroad. America must therefore re-position itself globally, which means yielding more of its sphere of influence to China and Russia, while sharply focusing inward by getting its house in order! Fiscally, America is already insolvent, because of our huge national debt, which can't be possibly paid off without massively irresponsible money printing.
Bottom line: America needs China for everyday things. America needs Russia in the Mideast, if defeating ISIS is an American goal.
America needs Russian assistance on a wide range of international issues, especially ISIS and Iran. But if President Trump thinks he could trade Ukraine for the Mideast, or vice versa, with Russia, he would be dead wrong!
Because Russia will never withdraw from Crimea, does that mean the US sanctions on Russia will remain forever? If yes, we will never be able to count on Russia for anything!
Furthermore, regardless of what America does from now on, the Mideast will soon be without America, except for whatever Israel needs, of course. Instead, the Mideast will be dominant by the Iran-Syria-Russia alliance. For more, read: The Middle East without America?
Three basic points on China:
China will never compromise on Taiwan or the South China Sea. China has enough military capability to deter any military aggression by any country.
China does not have to worry about Russia leaning more towards America in the coming years, thanks to the newly strengthened China-Russia alliance.
China and America need each other.
Five basic points about America-China:
Globalization has been part of America since America's first days, and capitalism is global by definition! Does America still want capitalism, like China does?
America has lost more jobs to automation than to out-sourcing over the past three decades, at least.
The jobs America "lost to China" would have gone to other countries, had China not developed over the past three decades.
America has trade deficits with more than 90 countries. Are we going to complain about all of them, one by one, or simply accept the truth that our cost structure is too high and fix it?
America is the largest currency manipulator in the world, having printed more than $4 trillion over the past decade, mostly at the expenses of its creditors (e.g. China and Japan)!
The root cause for America's decline is our failing political system, thanks to both Democratic Imperialism and Democratic Socialism! Will we be courageous enough to face the truth and solve our real problems with political reforms, as I have suggested (American Democracy), or continue to fool around by blaming all other countries?
China: it went from heaven to hell, but is now well on its way back to heaven again. How did China manage to come back again? Reforms, both politically and economically, without blaming any other countries!
The U.K.: as the last empire before the American empire, the U.K., after WWII, had to turn inward to get its own house in order, and its economy is back again on more solid footing.
President Trump is right to look inward to get our messy house in order first. What's missing is a sound foreign policy that deals with many countries, from China and Russia to our closer neighbors.
6. Getting along with your neighbors!
The image below is worth more than 1,000 words. For those who get it, no explanation is necessary. For those who do not, no explanation is possible.
Forget about regime change and stop all the activities related to it. A bad government is better than no government (e.g. Iraq and Syria). Democracy does not even work at home - stop exporting it! For more, read: Democracy: to be or not to be?
Syria: Leave it to President Assad and Russia.
Iraq: Withdraw all our troops as soon as possible. Let the Iraqi government and Iran take care of ISIS over there. Yes, we have been fighting in Iraq for the benefit of Iran.
Today's China offers a rude awakening for Americans who believe that the United States and the United States alone should dominate world power. Donald Trump seems to count himself among these neoconservatives, and China is their deepest phobia today. Trump is following a game plan that has characterized US "grand strategy" against major rivals dating back to World War II. Each time America has had a rival for global leadership, the United States has aimed to cut the rival down to size and to subordinate it to US power. For a while it worked, at least to a point.
More recently, it has failed badly. And with China, any attempt to pursue such a course will fail disastrously for the United States, not to mention the world.
America must check the assertive, rising powers of Russia and China before it's too late. Accepting spheres of influence is a recipe for disaster.
8.3 My strong opinion about WWIII
Unless President Trump can decisively change the direction, America has both the capability and incentive to provoke WWIII, through which America will be destroyed for sure. The only two questions are:
Which one of the other two big countries will be involved and destroyed: Russia or China?
Both Presidents Xi and Putin are proven world leaders, while President Trump has a long way to go to prove himself as a good American President as well as a true world leader, beyond what's automatically given to an American President.
Even more challenging for President Trump, he must deal with both of them, together on the other side, with absolutely no chance of setting one against the other!
Not only do I wish President Trump well, I have also spelled out the path to greatness for him (Donald Trump 2.0). But will he listen? We will have a very good indication after his first 100 days in office.
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