Trump a Shrewd Businessman, China’s Xi Not Less ShrewdPosted: December 8, 2016
Trump, as a businessman, knows how to make profit so that he has been able to build up his enormous empire.
What does he want as US president then?
Some analysts believe that his hardline policies may give rise to World War III.
Does he want his commercial buildings and hotels destroyed by nuclear bombs?
His speeches may be self-contradicting sometimes, but not his goals to become US president: He wants the US to gain in order to make its economy prosper. If US economy prospers, so will his business empire along with it.
Some analysts are so stupid as to think that Trump will play some dirty secret tricks to benefit his empire. If so, Trump will be bankrupt politically. Will he be so stupid?
His open trick to make the US prosper for the benefit of his business empire is to enable the US to benefit from its diplomacy.
He uses his hardline rhetoric to cause tension in the world.
In Europe, he praises Putin and thus encourages Putin to be more aggressive so that Europe wants better US protection. The US will gain in having Europe to pay more for the protection or buy more US advanced weapons for self-protection.
In Asia, he will reverse Obama’s stupid policies of containing China.
Obama’s pivot to Asia hurts the US instead of benefiting it. Economically, the US has to make concessions to have TPP accepted by other members in order to contain China. Hurting oneself to hurt one’s competitors. That is not a wise businessman’s way. A wise businessman hurts his competitors in order to benefit himself.
It is sure that TPP may hurt the US but whether it may hurt China remains a question as China is carrying out substantial reform to make its economy adapt to TPP.
Obama’s efforts to contain China by intervention with China’s disputes with its neighbors in the South China Sea have entirely failed as US threat has caused China to build seven artificial islands there to entirely remove the threat of US attack of China from the South China Sea.
In fact, tension in the South China Sea may not cause countries there to pay for US protection or buy US weapons. ASEAN will not seek US protection for fear of upsetting China as it is now greatly benefited by better relations with China. US only ally there the Philippines may want better US protection and US weapons but it is too poor to be able to pay for that.
Trump does not want to contain China. On the contrary, he want the US to have substantial gains from China’s vast market. He wants China to make trade concessions for better US access to Chinese market.
For that, he needs tension in East Asia. His telephone call with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen was precisely aimed at that. He will try to sell more weapons to Taiwan and support Japan in its disputes with China to cause China to make trade concessions.
On the other hand, he appoints a pro-China politician as US ambassador to China for better economic ties with China. That will be his carrot and stick policies toward China.
By so doing, he will not only gain concessions from China but also make Japan and South Korea pay more for US protection and make them and Taiwan buy more US weapons.
If Trump succeeds in both Europe and Asia, he will be able to get substantial gains for his country so that he will be sure to win the next presidential election for a second term.
China’s Xi Jinping is not less shrewd. SCMP says in its report “PLA will ‘step up flights near Taiwan’ to pressure Tsai after Trump phone call” today, “Beijing wants to keep up the pressure on the island amid fears the US may soften its stance on its policy that Taiwan is part of one China”. Taiwan is Xi’s priority now. He has to cause Taiwan’s pro-independence president Tsia Ing-wen to lose to the pro-Beijing KMT in the next Taiwan presidential election.
SCMP says “China’s military has already flown a series of flights close to the island in recent months as it tries to ratchet up pressure on Taiwan’s independence-leaning government.” Trump’s support for Tsai will give Xi the excuse to send more warplanes to threaten Taiwan.
That will force Taiwan to incur huge costs to buy US weapons at the expense of its economic growth. Xi, on the other hand, will contain Taiwan economically by reducing import of Taiwanese products and Mainland tourists to Taiwan. Tsai’s economic failure will cause her to lose the next election.
There is always the military alternative for Xi to take Taiwan by force, but that will be Xi’s last resort. He certainly does not want to risk a war with the US. Even if the US does not intervene, he will have difficulties in dealing with the aftermath of the war.
Having a pro-Beijing Taiwan government is a much better choice for him. For that he need tension in Taiwan Strait. The military threat of Xi’s takeover of Taiwan by force will aggravate Taiwan’s economic difficulties as no one will invest in Taiwan under the threat. Trump will help Xi in creating the tension.
Article by Chan Kai Yee.
Full text of SCMP’s report mentioned in the article can be found at http://www.scmp.com/news/china/policies-politics/article/2052513/pla-will-step-flights-near-taiwan-after-trump-tsai-call