Trump’s Bargaining Tricks in Dealing with China, Russia, EU

When the seller refuses to reduce price to your bid, a usual bargaining trick is to pretend you are no longer interested in the deal and even find faults with the goods you want to buy. As a shrewd businessman, Trump has gone further, he denounced China and EU before he even bargains to give the impression that they may be in trouble if they do not satisfy him.

He said that he would improve ties with Russia in order to make Russia bold in Europe and the Middle East. As a result, EU was indeed worried. Then he attacked Syria with missiles to remind EU the importance of US protection. He will thus force EU to contribute funds to NATO and give trade concessions to him more willingly.

In its report titled “In abrupt shift, Trump warms to China and NATO, sours on Russia” on April 13, Reuters believes that Trump has abruptly shifted his stance in his diplomacy towards China and NATO and describes Trump as unpredictable.

They fail to see what Trump is doing is but to facilitate achievement of his goal of bringing jobs back and make America great again. He has never changed that. What he has changed is but the ways to achieve the goal, some of which are just his tricky rhetoric.

Can improvement of ties with Russia help him achieve his goal? Putin cannot help Trump much in attaining his goal even if Putin makes the greatest efforts as US-Russia trade is simply insignificant for US economy.

Then why shall Trump court Russia?

1. To make Russia bold in dealing the West in Europe and the Middle East so as to make Europe give the US concessions willingly under Russia’s threat; and

2. To cut China-Russia alliance, the greatest threat to US world leadership.

True enough, Russia is fooled by Trump and began active involvement in Syria and thus made Europe very uneasy as described above. Trump then order missile attack at Syria to show EU how important its US ally is.

That is but the often repeated trick in romantic fictions. A hero saves a beauty in trouble to win her love. It is cheap but effective.

China’s Xi, however, saw through Trump’s trick and began to court Trump as soon as Trump was elected as he knows good relations with the US is indispensable for both China’s peaceful rise and Trump’s recovery of America’s greatness.

Trump’s grandchildren’ Chinese language skill proves his interest in China and his understanding of China’s greatness in the future.

Chinese leaders believe that a great powerful United States is good for China as “allying with remote states and attacking neighboring states” is China’s traditional strategy in a divided China. The strategy is useful now in a divided world. China’s strong neighbors Russia or Japan may become a threat when China is weak but a remote strong ally the US may help it when it is in trouble.

There is quite much analysis that China and the US will not be able to satisfactorily solve their differences due to the common idea that two great powers are bound to fight for world dominance. Sorry, world dominance is not Xi’s goal. Xi is sober-minded that China simply lacks the strength to be world leader and will not be benefited by world leadership. Trump, on the other hand, is wise enough to see that the US is declining and has to recover its greatness to maintain its world leadership. However, in spite of its decline, with Chinese support, US can maintain world leadership.

In fact, Russia was not so aggressive when China supported the US in dealing with Russia. There would not have been Syria problem now if China had not joined Russia in the veto of three US Security Council resolutions concerning Syria.

Now, Trump has at least driven a wedge between China and Russia to make China abstain instead of joining Russia in vetoing US Security Council resolution.

If one clearly knows Trump’s goal and his persistence in achieving his goal, one may not be fooled by his rhetoric.

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


9 Comments on “Trump’s Bargaining Tricks in Dealing with China, Russia, EU”

  1. Joseph says:

    Donald Trump was after all the only person in American capitalistic history who managed to prevent greedy American creditors from defaulting him. And he did it using the same old trick that Rockefeller used to keep his wealth from being defaulted. The difference was, unlike Rockefeller, Donald Trump has got nothing to bargain for. Now he is a president of a ‘superpower’ who got nothing, literally nothing, as everything American is owned by capitalist American corporates, and American government actually obeys American corporates, not American people. And he faces China, an rejuvenated ancient superpower who got everything, literally everything, as everything Chinese corporates owned is considered to belong to the state. The American already assumes that every Chinese investment must have Chinese government hand on it. Unlike in America, Chinese corporates obey Chinese government. In this kind of situation, what Donald Trump has to offer? He may talk tough and tricks to attempt to get similar deal that prevent the greedy bank from defaulting him, but nations are not banks. Nobody is trying to default America. Where banks see potential profits, nations see national prides and dignity. For banks, it is better to lose principle than to lose profits. And even if Donald Trump can somehow manage to bargain a favorable deal with China, Russia or EU, he has nothing to give anyway as whatever negotiated must be approved by US congress, a.k.a. American corporate elites. While deals with China means gold mine, as the Chinese government does not need the approval Chinese corporates. They would simply instruct Chinese corporates to fulfill the deal that they made. In the past Chinese government had swarmed favorable nations with Chinese tourists, as promised. The American could never swarmed favorable nations with American tourists even if their government promises. They would simply be scared and paranoid because everyone is targeting Americans. China is known to choke investment from renegade Chinese investors to rogue nations, such as choking Chinese fund for property investment in rogue Australia, as well as choking South Korean import as its government going rogue to China. Like Margaret Thatcher said, talking to the Chinese about nonsense is like talking to a wall, no one actually cares. Donald Trump can talk tough and tricks to his heart content, and after he finish talking, the real bargaining can begin and it is time for him to do the listenings.


  2. BasicRules says:

    US doesn’t want a strong China and was preparing for a war with China citing Rand Corporation. It will be foolish to kowtow to US dictates as China will need to self destruct.

    Russia is a cornered country by US and it’s European allies. The only major country that it looks ally is China as Co founder of SCO.

    Best solution for China is i think multipolar world with much closer relation with Russia while maintaining non confrontations relation with US. In this scenario, China doesn’t need to self destruct for US pleasure.


  3. Steve says:

    The USA has a history of militaristic barbarism. During the US election campaign, Trump’s platform for Presidency was to use his self declared business acumen to put America on a new path of regeneration and international cooperation because Americans are tired of decades of warmongering. This is how he got elected, but under Trump’s presidency, American militarism, invasion and destruction are now entering a higher blood phase on Steroids. Its worst than Obama. Trump denounced rival Hillary and her predecessor Obama for disastrous wars, but Trump’s warmongering is going up several gears.

    According to Monitor Airwars, Trump is killing more civilians – between August 2014 and December 2016, US coalition under Obama killed 1,707 civilians in Iraq. Under Trump’s approval, in the two full months of February and March 1,286 civilian deaths have been reported. Warmongering Trump will soon be increasing US troops to 10,000 from 5,000+ in Iraq and Syria. Military observers are surprised and shocked at the increased intensity of US air strikes in Iraq with Trump’s approval.

    The US negotiating posture is now weaker than it was during the Obama administration due Trump’s public disparagement of the allies and withdrawal from the TPP, in favour of a more protectionist and nationalistic stance. American allies can see there is no prospect for greater economic integration with the US at the demise of TPP. Trump tweeted that Beijing would get a better trade deal if it helped solve the Nth Korea problem. Beijing would be laughing themselves stupid. China has been at it for decades and Trump enticing Beijing with a child’s gift, only 100 days in office.? According to the American chamber of commerce in China, James Zimmerman said that US business community should not be used as bargaining chips. It’s simply illogical horse trading at best. This clearly shows that Trump is unqualified rather than shrewd. How can you barter nuclear weapons with export/import trade deals between US and China.

    Martin Luther King once said, “I am also worried about a different kind of persecution in the so called democracies, as the greatest perpetrator of violence in the world.” He was referring to the US military war machine presided by genocidal maniacs. Trump’s bargaining tricks with Russia, China and EU is frustrating at best. Its true that Russia has nothing to offer other than challenging the US with threats due to sanctions, but putting Russia into a corner is totally not advisable. Beijing will ruthlessly challenge the US economically and militarily. US presidential term of office only last 4 years before re-elction and it’s policy on global leadership is delusional.


  4. Unknown-V says:

    Why don’t they (US-China-Russia) just make an alliance like triple entente (Britain-France-Russia) in early 20th century.. If they ever make it, humanity will be saved.. LOL


    • Joseph says:

      Weren’t China, Russia and America getting just fine before the American made troubles in Ukraine for Russia and in SCS for China? Today Ukraine is stuffed up with its meaningless conflict, while Phillipines has switch side to China, leaving America bare in the senseless disputes. Ten years ago there’s only stupid US invasion of Iraq conflict, now there are dozen of conflicts with USA pinned on it


  5. Bankotsu says:

    The writer is chinese, I am also chinese. We think like chinese, because we are chinese.

    We talk and think in ways that only chinese can understand. If let’s say that you are someone from the west, sorry, it’s impossible for you to really understand chinese “smart”.

    But even I, don’t think that the writer really believes that Trump is really that “shrewd”.


    • Joseph says:

      Perhaps Donald Trump does not intend to be shrewd, but the Chinese people he knows are those shrewd people he meets in American Chinese takeaways and restaurants, or perhaps he watches too much movies like Lethal Weapon 4 or Rush Hours. What he should understand is, Chinese dignitaries are not the same caliber with some shrewd Chinese American. Doing so will be like treating Irish dignitaries like Irish fish and chips shop owners from Australia. All he needs is proper education about world beyond America.