Daughters Diplomacy Better Than Ping-pong for US-China TiesPosted: February 26, 2017
BBC China editor Carrie Gracie seems easily be fooled by Trump when she gives the impression in her article “Could China’s Trump tactics actually be working?” that it was China who took the initiative to please Trump and succeeded in bringing Trump around.
She seems to be ignorant that “It takes two to tango”.
She only sees what appears on the surface without understanding what counts under the surface for Trump. As a result, she only mentions that “Beijing needs American goodwill, markets and technology to build what it calls its ‘comprehensive strength’” but forgets that Chinese goodwill and growing huge market are indispensable for Trump to bring back jobs to America and reinvigorate American economy.
Trump is well aware that without market for American goods, it is utterly impossible for him to bring back jobs or reinvigorate US economy while China is and will remain America’s largest market.
It is obvious that led by Trump, his family is much interested in China so that his eldest daughter Ivanka Trump readily accepted Chinese embassy’s invitation to attend its Chinese New Year celebration and even brought her daughter to give performance of a Chinese song there. Her daughter’s ability to sing a Chinese song itself means a lot, but Ms. Gracie ignores that.
The performance gives the impression that deep in his heart Trump admires China’s economic success and wants the US to catch up. His provocative words are but postures for getting better terms in his behind-the-scene negotiations with China.
Due to the interest Trump’s another daughter Tiffany and Chinese fashion designer Taoray Wang are close to each other. The above photo was taken backstage at Wang’s fashion show during New York Fashion Week on September 12, 2016.
Now, Trump has got what he wants from China. China makes easy concessions to him by promising him what China intends to do in its reforms such as allowing the market to determine the exchange rate of its currency, protection of intellectual property and lowering import tariffs as China promised when it joined WTO.
The only thing hard for China to please Trump is to pressure hard on North Korea as China fears that it may cause North Korea’s Kim Dynasty to collapse with serious consequence to China. However, as China has found ways to deal with the consequence and as stopping North Korea’s development of nuclear weapons is necessary for China’s own security, China has yielded to Trump and begun to ban coal import from North Korea.
People believe that the Obama Administration is friendly while Trump is hostile to China. The truth is precisely the contrary. Obama tried hard to contain China with TPP economically and with its pivot to Asia with 60% US military to threaten China. Trump has done great service to China by withdrawal from TPP. He knows well that the US is utterly unable to contain China whether economically, diplomatically or militarily. If the US is afraid of China surpassing it, it shall put its own house in order and reinvigorate its economy.
I am pleased that China does not want to contend with the US for world leadership. It is not afraid of a prosperous United States. On the contrary, it knows well a prosperous US economy will provide China with great opportunities for China’s own economic growth.
Ms. Gracie says, “It (China) has done a good job of neutralising the risks and exploiting the opportunities of President Trump’s first month in office.” However, according to her, “this is a multi-player multi-dimensional game with many dangers and traps over the long term.”
This blogger does not believe so because what Trump wants is bringing back jobs and economic recovery that will benefit China. There are no fundamental conflicts between China and the US; therefore, there are good prospects for win-win cooperation between the two countries.
Ms. Gracie is fundamentally wrong about Trump by beginning his article with the description “Donald Trump as US president has been an enormous challenge for China, as for many around the world.”
Trump’s great efforts to please Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe prove precisely the contrary. True, Trump has said something hard on Japan. Japan’s top diplomatic priority is to contain the rising China, but Trump would not contain China economically by withdrawal from TPP. He really hurt Japan painfully by so doing but he has great diplomatic tact to please the Japanese in spite of that.
Has that been an enormous challenge? It is not judging by Japanese media’s positive response to Abe’s US visit.
People shall know how to distinguish a politician’ rhetoric from what he actually does.
Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Carrie Gracie’s article on BBC, full text of which can be viewed at http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-39061702