posted on 04 April 2017
Written by Frank Li
Shortly after the set-up of his first meeting with Chinese President Xi, President Trump tweeted: "a very difficult meeting next week" (April 6-7).
President Trump is right on in his anticipation. To help him out, let me put the whole thing in perspective, beyond anything you might have seen in the mainstream media (e.g. Trump Anticipates a 'Very Difficult' Meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping).
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1. Why will the meeting be very difficult for President Trump?
Four main reasons:
Let me elaborate on each ...
2. America does not really understand China
America, as a country, has been so carried away by American exceptionalism that it has simply failed to recognize the significance of China's astronomical rise over the past three decades ... or has just been in denial.
This recent WSJ article (China's Once and Future Democracy), in anticipation of President Xi's visit, offers a good example: there are many things China can learn from the West, but democracy is not one of them!
Three informative readings about China:
Three more profound readings about China:
Bottom line: China's system (i.e. capitalism and autocracy) is slightly better than ours (i.e. capitalism and democracy)! This is the main reason behind China's astronomical rise over the past the three decades, as well as our steep decline since the turn of the 21st century, at least, with no end in sight.
3. America does not really understand itself
Everything is relative - America was the best, until a new China showed up! In other words, because America does not really understand China, it does not really understand itself!
Specifically, three points:
Three informative readings about today's America:
Three more profound readings about America:
Bottom line: While the 20th century was clearly America's, the 21st century is likely to be China's, unless we, Americans, soon reform our political system, as I have suggested (American Democracy).
4. President Trump is challenged internationally
Donald Trump brilliantly won the 2016 Presidential election via a totally unorthodox campaign. Internationally, however, it is an entirely new game, for which President Trump has yet to be seriously tested.
First off, many of his home-crowd-pleasing campaign positions and slogans will actually work against him internationally. Two examples:
On the personal level for President Trump, three informative readings:
Bottom line: President Trump must prove himself internationally, especially against proven leaders like Russia's Putin and China's Xi!
5. President Trump is particularly challenged on China
China's astronomical rise over the past three decades is perhaps even more exceptional than America. Two facts:
Very notably, China has a highly functional government that is always "China First", with no need to emphasize it like Donald Trump has been doing in America! The image below highlights the point.
America is "losing" to China because China is competing better. The only way for us to be back in the competition is to become better ourselves, but not by China bashing (China Bashing Is a Bipartisan Sport and It's Back With a Vengeance)!
Three important points:
For more on the subject, read: The U.S. vs. China.
Bottom line: Don't Mess with Nuclear-Armed China! China is smart enough not to militarily mess with the U.S., guaranteed!
I applaud for the first Trump-Xi meeting and hope for many positive outcomes.
A healthy relationship between the two largest economies in the world is important not only for the two countries, but also for the world.
Unfortunately, China is totally different from the U.S., from history to the form of government. Therefore, it's a real competition for superiority, from the economy to the ideology.
Fortunately for the world, the two countries have been cooperating reasonably well so far. But will that continue under President Trump?
Presidential candidate Donald Trump blamed all the other countries (e.g. Mexico and China) for America's problems (e.g. jobs). Now, President Trump must face the reality, both domestically (e.g. Obamacare) and internationally (e.g. the "wall" and trade).
The image below shows one key difference between China and America.
Apparently, unlike Presidential candidate Trump who wanted to reign in the Military-Industrial Complex (Fixing the Military-Industrial Complex!), President Trump has caved to the neo-cons by increasing our out-of-control military budget by yet another outrageous 10%! In return, the neo-cons have just failed to "repeal and replace" Obamacare, after bitterly complaining about it for seven long years!
It's time for President Trump to govern from the center-right, both domestically and internationally, with sense and achievements!
China is a competitor, not enemy! With enough enemies around the world, from Iraq (e.g. U.S. Airstrikes May Have Killed As Many As 200 Civilians in Mosul) to Syria (e.g. Worst Chemical Attack in Years in Syria; U.S. Blames Assad), let’s not make China yet another enemy!
President Trump, please read and listen - Good luck in your meeting with President Xi!
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