Trump’s Bargaining Tricks in Dealing with China, Russia, EUPosted: April 16, 2017
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 http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-idUSKBN17F07G