Master class: how China has stolen US thunder on world stage

President Xi Jinping (right) meets Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte in Beijing. Photo: Simon Song

President Xi Jinping (right) meets Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte in Beijing. Photo: Simon Song

By Alex Lo

Even would-be president Hillary Clinton acknowledges that President Xi Jinping is in a league of his own when it comes to strategy and diplomacy

China’s diplomacy is on a roll. Donald Trump is right when he declares that US President Barack Obama’s foreign policy is in shambles and that China is eating America’s lunch.

Tensions in the South China Sea were reaching dangerous levels this summer, especially when the Philippines won a landmark judgment at the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague. All that changed when Rodrigo Duterte became president. Suddenly, he starts singing the same tune as Beijing, saying bilateral talks, rather than international arbitration, are the best way to address the “differences” between the countries.

Whether by design or inadvertently, Duterte might have pulled rival claimants in the South China Sea from the brink, or at least lowered the tensions to such an extent that the US felt the need to send a destroyer to the Paracel Islands chain to keep up the heat. Funny how China is usually the one accused of being ham-fisted in its diplomacy!

On the religious front, the Vatican and the world’s largest atheist state are about to finalise a deal on the ordination of bishops in China this month, a move that will end a long-standing dispute and may well lead to formal diplomatic relations. This will spell trouble for Taiwan, as the Vatican is one of the few states that formally recognises the island.

China, Philippines to set up negotiation mechanism to resolve South China Sea disputes(

By contrast, Obama’s master trade plan to isolate China is about to die a quick death. One of the few things that US presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Trump can agree on is how fast he or she will kill the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal when one of them becomes president. But Obama’s greatest embarrassment has been his heavy-handed attempt to pressure allies not to join the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. Britain, Australia, France, Israel, Germany and now Canada practically jumped over each other to join. Indeed, Britain and now Canada have hailed a new “golden era” in relations between their countries and China.

According to a hacked email released by WikiLeaks, Clinton said President Xi Jinping (習近平) was a better politician than predecessor Hu Jintao (胡錦濤). She is right. And he has outmanoeuvred Obama time and again, and will do so again with Madame President Clinton.

Oh the irony! While Trump publicly professes admiration for Russia’s Vladimir Putin, Clinton secretly acknowledges Xi to be a good state leader.

Source: SCMP “Master class: how China has stolen US thunder on world stage”

Note: This is SCMP’s article I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the article’s views.


5 Comments on “Master class: how China has stolen US thunder on world stage”

  1. Joseph says:

    Yes, Clinton is a liar. But that’s American problem, not ours. She will be a perfect American president for us if she can bring down America faster than Obama. In fact, the worse leader the American can get, the better it is for us. Since Trump is no better either, the outcome of US election is not a cause for us to be concerned. Although, on wistful thinking, I’d like Trump to win the election, only to see how he would spar with Duterte.


    • Simon says:

      If I was American and patriotic I would vote Trump over Clinton because Trump and Putin has a rappor and there will be a new kind of politics to undo what Obama has created. If I wanted America to capitulate I vote for Clinton.
      The worst case scenario for China is if Clinton gets in and dies soon afterwards and someone half decent in the head takes her place.


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  3. Steve says:

    Most State leaders calls it the Thucydides trap where the more powerful state lures the weaker emerging state into a war by intimidation and confrontation.This is to prevent the new emerging state from stealing the thunder of the more powerful. A clear example would be Obama’s 60% military pivot to Asia, FONOPs in the SCS, seeking Asian State alliances and using combative words at the yearly IISS Asia Shangri-la Security Summit. All these are the precursors to a trap of war or Thucydides Trap. Or as Muhammad Ali employed the strategy of ‘Ring a Dope,’ before knocking out George Foreman.

    By employing Sun Tse’s art of war stratagem, Chinese President Xi and Comrades out smarted and out manoeuvred the hegemonic war mongrels (USA) and avoided the trap of war. To put it simply, China cannot afford any form of military confrontation in order to pursue its peaceful rise into the Zenith of prosperity or collectively known as the Chinese Dream. China is still laying the foundation of strong economic and military reform, modernised infrastructures in support of information management for technology & business investments and foreign policies.

    Whoever wins this pathetic and disrespectful US elections will no longer be a barrier to China’s peaceful rise. And when the heat of the SCS cools off with the new Philippine President, the Thucydides trap is blown away. Instead Japan’s Abe has to be extremely careful with his words and deeds in the ECS. The number of Chinese fishermen boats (little blue men?) are creating obstacles for Japanese fishermen off the Diaoyu islands.

    I believe that by 2030, China will be sitting on top of the world, the peak of economic success with highly advanced technologies, secured governance and powerful military.


  4. Simon says:

    I would’nt put any weight on Clinton’s private email thought. The woman is a compulsive manipulative liar. She is only 4 point ahead of Trump in the poll despite all his misgivings when come to voting day America might decide another 4 years of government by the “establishment” is not what they want and believe a purge is needed.