Sunday, July 29, 2018

Trump - "I am Shiva, Destroyer of Worlds!"

Instapundit quotes a piece from the Financial Times, in which the Director of the European Council on Foreign Relations ponders Trump:
My interlocutors say that Mr Trump is the US first president for more than 40 years to bash China on three fronts simultaneously: trade, military and ideology. They describe him as a master tactician, focusing on one issue at a time, and extracting as many concessions as he can. They speak of the skilful way Mr Trump has treated President Xi Jinping. “Look at how he handled North Korea,” one says. “He got Xi Jinping to agree to UN sanctions [half a dozen] times, creating an economic stranglehold on the country. China almost turned North Korea into a sworn enemy of the country.” But they also see him as a strategist, willing to declare a truce in each area when there are no more concessions to be had, and then start again with a new front.
For the Chinese, even Mr Trump’s sycophantic press conference with Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, in Helsinki had a strategic purpose. They see it as Henry Kissinger in reverse. In 1972, the US nudged China off the Soviet axis in order to put pressure on its real rival, the Soviet Union. Today Mr Trump is reaching out to Russia in order to isolate China.
I think there may be a little ( a smidgen perhaps) of truth in this statement, but I don't think it is nearly as organized a philosophy or strategy as this article implies.  In fact I wish it was true, I am a free trader, but I am an American first, and so I of course wish that America was operating from a stronger position.  I also agree that China strongly wishes to knock us down a few pegs, I would not be averse to us instead displacing them from their perch in Asia and allowing a friendlier country to rise.

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