Trump Shrewder than Media ImaginePosted: December 10, 2016
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 http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-china-bolton-idUSKBN13Y2AY.