Trump Shrewder than Media Imagine

Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton speaks on a mobile phone as he arrives for a meeting with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower in New York, U.S., December 2, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar

Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton speaks on a mobile phone as he arrives for a meeting with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower in New York, U.S., December 2, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar

Trump’s hardline speeches during his election campaign has given rise to media expectation of a trade war or even a military war with China.

However, world media does not know what Trump really wants and will really do as he has been used to be self-contradictory in his speeches and moves. He is self-contradictory even when he has been elected, giving media the impression that he is not experienced enough as a politician.

Reuters shows that it is puzzled by Trump’s moves in its report titled “Bolton says Trump moves could signal ‘different,’ tougher, China line” today.

John Bolton is a hawkish conservative that Trump may employ as his secretary of state. Reuter says, “In an opinion article last January in The Wall Street Journal, Bolton proposed using degrees of escalation on Taiwan that could start with receiving Taiwanese diplomats officially at the State Department and lead to restoring full diplomatic recognition, to pressure China to step back from its pursuit of territory in East Asia.”

Trump precisely tried to pressure China by his well-planned phone call with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen.

Militarily, the US lacks geographical advantages in attacking China with its powerful navy. Attacker must be in an advantageous position; therefore, Obama’s pivot to Asia centered on the South China Sea militarily is stupid.

However, if the US defends Taiwan when China attacks Taiwan, the US has geographical advantages by using Taiwan’s military bases especially the well fortified air base on the east side of Taiwan with the cover of high hills. With ground support from Taiwan and Okinawa, F-22s deployed in Taiwan will be able to fight with China’s J-20s for air supremacy.

However, Reuters shows its surprise by saying, “Trump followed this (the visit) by saying he would nominate Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, a long-standing friend of Beijing, as the next U.S. ambassador to China, a move which that country’s state news agency said was a positive sign for ties.”

It seems that Reuters thinks that Trump will not do what Bolton proposed to do.

What Trump really wants? He wants concessions from China including promise not to militarize its artificial islands in the South China Sea, or put military pressure on Taiwan and pressure North Korea not to conduct nuclear or missile tests.

However, as a shrewd businessman, he has made contradictory speeches and moves in order to avoid revealing his true intention so that he will be in better position for negotiations.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Reuters’ report, full text of which can be viewed at


10 Comments on “Trump Shrewder than Media Imagine”

  1. V says:

    In terms of assymetrical warfare, America’s weakest link is it U.S. dollar. It is the keystone or corner stone of its entire economy. The loss of trust and acceptance of the current value of the U.S. dollar as an IOU paper, will cause the whole American empire edifice to come crumbling down.

    Washington panicked when Saudi Arabia sold off its U.S. treasury notes to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollar in a short space of time. (Now you understand why the lame duck Obama administration is fighting Saudi Arabia’s and Qatar’s war in Syria? The creditors call the shots). And when China sold down some, Brussels picked up the sale to maintain the USD’s value.

    So what does it all says? Simple. If China wish to conduct an effective preemptive assymetrical strike at the U.S. empire – if it continues to insult and threaten beyond bounds of acceptance – Beijing should just sell off the approximately 1.2 trillion USD – if that is the current amount held – it holds in U.S. treasury notes and cause a crash at its stock markets and a global run on the USD, bringing the U.S. into penury overnight.

    The U.S. cannot go too far in their uncivilized behaviour as under the Bush and Obama administration. You CANNOT be not nice to your creditor. Beijing has USD220 million of US investments in China as its collateral although the damage will be in terms of trillions if the collaterals were seized should Congress tries to act like a pirate.

    So, Beijing do have cards to play. Nobody asked the Americans to elect Obama and Bush and allowed them to borrow SO much money to bring the U.S. into INSOLVENCY. The Trump administration is probably more honest and realistic.


  2. Steve says:

    There is a difference between political wisdom, stupidity and business shrewdness. So far, it has being Trump Dumb Dump. It’s political wisdom knowing that China is the largest and most important growth market, known as the crown jewel for American manufacturing.

    One of the most worrisome loss of jobs, market share is Boeing. According to the report, a quarter of nearly 500 Boeing 737 jets delivered in 2015 went to China, serving a fast growing middle class that’s as large as the entire US population. The market is worth a Trillion dollars over he next 20 years.

    Trump’s trash talk over the cost of air force one barely lasted 24 hours. There is nothing shrewd about Trump’s talk, instead he has presented himself as an irresponsible old head.


  3. Steve says:

    The main grouping countries in East Asia are China, Nth Korea, Sth Korea, Mongolia and Taiwan (including parts of Russia). If the reference of territories to East Asia includes Diaoyu island and surrounding waters, China shall not step back as Japan intend to stir up trouble in the SCS. China need to militarise parts of the 7 engineered islands and will not step back on its militarisation. Philippines has already confirmed not participating in FONs with the US and not allowing the US navy to utilise it’s naval base for FONOPs in the SCS. President Duterte do not wish to upset China. China is already conducting air combat patrols and SCS navigation.

    As for Taiwan, I don’t think Taiwanese and the KMT would allow the island become cannon fodder just for the sake of independence. It would be committing suicide for the US pilots and Taiwan airforce, unless Tsai and DPP agrees on a multilateral agreement to become allies with Japan and US to engage China militarily. The Philippines are separating dependence from the US and I don’t think Taiwanese are stupid to be dependent on US to start an Asian war of unimaginable consequences. US already has over 30 military bases including Australia surrounding China. To use Taiwan as a launching pad for F22s is pointless. China’s imagery satellite will have great fun locating the US strategy.


  4. Simon says:

    I really do think China don’t mind playing hard ball with Trump and even risk diplomatic, economic and military showdown with America. Trump is expected to be a one term president, even if he avoid being impeached he wil only remain in office for just 4 years. America is divided and half of the country think their own president don’t represent them. The next American president will be keen to repair the damage done by Trump. China has over 4,000 years of history and can play the long game. 4yrs of hostility and any business impact due to sour of relations is peanut for China but that is not the same for America who cannot afford hardship over that period. In the end America will suffer under Trump if he does not mend his ways.

    Liked by 1 person

    • RSS says:

      “I really do think China don’t mind playing hard ball with Trump and even risk diplomatic, economic and military showdown with America.”

      If China believes all that then let them bring it. China may be surprised at what America can unveil in a real fight. So what are you waiting for China? Come out and dance!


  5. Simon says:

    Rather than pressuring China to make concession, Trump’s undermining of the One China Policy can backfire and put pressure on America’s economic and strategic interest at risk.
    China holding of 2 trillion dollars in America has to be paid back. Chinese students and tourists will no longer be spending their money in America. Sanction against North Koreawill end with miltary assistance and arms sales from China. China will stop doing business with key American companies such as Boeing, this may even lead to a total breakdown of business and political ties. There will be increase in Chinesese reclaimation in SCS and there won’t be any tolerance against FON by American navy.


  6. Fre Okin says:

    Trump Could have a Sec of State like hawkish Bolton Or a more moderate one, perhaps Jon Huntsman may be suitable. He could then have a hawkish assistant Sec of State just as a Prop to keep neocons happy.

    Everytime this neocon bark, Trump will just slap him down by ignoring all his extreme views. Finally this fool may get tired of being marginalized and leave the State Dept all on his own. This could be Trump’s strategy, just setting up a prop to make sure he fail as He will have the Last Word. For Trump, business is more important and taking care of rebuilding America instead of rising tension with China. Everytime he bark against China, his Real audience are the domestic neocons, just giving them a little bone to chew on. There could be a Secret understanding between Trump and Xi, both understand not to rock the boat with excessive belligerence.