Trump’s Grand Tour: Day 4 China
As part of Liberty Nation’s deep dive analysis of President Donald Trump’s tour of Asia, we’ll be examining what events take place, the significance of them, and most importantly, how the media are spinning it.
President Trump continues his groundbreaking Asian tour today by visiting China, which heralds the third meeting between Trump and recently reinstalled Premiere Xi Jinping. This visit is the central point of his tour and will be the most prolonged actual stay in any one location. It is also likely to be the most productive regarding trade, cooperation and, of course, the all-important issue of North Korea. To find out about his tour to date, you can check out yesterday’s analysis here on LN.
President Trump’s relations with the Chinese Premiere have confounded the vast majority of the leftist media. Despite harsh talk during his election campaign, the president seems to have built a firm basis for U.S.-Chinese relations. Much of this is to do with his awareness of how the Chinese like to do business and the importance of face in Chinese culture.
When the president invited Premiere Xi to his Mar-a Lago retreat, the press thought this was a significant mistake and “typical” of a non-politician. What they failed to realize is that this gesture of a close personal relationship with Xi played exceptionally well with Xi’s home audience, giving the premiere an enormous amount of respect.
There will be public talks and private functions. Much of the real debate and deal making will take place over dinners and green tea, with press conferences being formal and well-orchestrated.
The main event of this visit is a private dinner at Beijing’s historic Forbidden City. This is a huge honor that has not been forwarded to any other world leader since modern China’s foundation. It not only signifies the high regard the Chinese government holds for President Trump, but it is also a signal to the Chinese people that this is a “special relationship” between the two most powerful world leaders.
The two nations are each other’s largest trade partners. For 2016, the two-way goods trade was worth $578.6 billion, and two-way foreign direct investment passed $60 billion. President Trump, mindful of how intertwined the nations’ economies are, will be looking for minor concessions on rectifying the imbalance.
There will be critical talks on how much support China will give the U.S. in dealing with Kim Jong Un. At present, China accounts for over 90% of North Korea’s export market; unless Beijing s on board, sanctions will have little impact.
Premiere Xi will be looking for support with getting a “petroyuan” off the ground and into the international market. He will also want to reduce tariffs through a revised trade deal on certain U.S. products (especially beef).
In terms of dealing with China, President Trump is absolutely unassailable. After the red-faces (or hong lian in China) when the press tried to shoot down his last two meetings with Premiere Xi, they seem to have learnt their lesson. Instead of attempting to pump out negative stories, the news today has been surprisingly balanced. Could this be the start of a trend as President Trump goes from strength to strength?
Behind the Curtain
Everything of importance on this visit will be done behind closed doors. Any public statement will have been drafted in advance and joint statements agreed upon prior to the actual show time.
The leaders will both ask for things and will be willing to give some concessions to make them happen. President Trump will be aiming for a rebalancing of the trade between nations, focusing on having Chinese factories being run and operated in the U.S. The aim will be to increase jobs and make America a manufacturing powerhouse.
Premiere Xi will likely ask for two things: a tone down in rhetoric on China as a currency manipulator to make market entry for China’s “petroyuan” easier, and the beginnings of a trade deal on American products similar to the 4% tariff deal in place with Australia and New Zealand.
Check back in with Liberty Nation tomorrow to get more on this historic Grand Tour.