Chinese View Trump As A 'Master Tactician' Reshaping World Order to Favor U.S.

Chris Menahan
Jul. 27, 2018

China's elites view President Donald Trump as a "master tactician" using "creative destruction" to reshape the global world order in favor of the United States, according to a report from the Financial Times.

Mark Leonard writes in the Financial Times (via Marginal Revolution):
I have just spent a week in Beijing talking to officials and intellectuals, many of whom are awed by his skill as a strategist and tactician.

One of the people I met was the former vice-foreign minister He Yafei. He shot to global prominence in 2009 when he delivered a finger-wagging lecture to President Barack Obama at the Copenhagen climate conference before blowing up hopes of a deal. He is somewhat less belligerent where Mr Trump is concerned. He worries that strategic competition has become the new normal and says that “trade wars are just the tip of the iceberg”.
…In Chinese eyes, Mr Trump’s response is a form of “creative destruction”. He is systematically destroying the existing institutions — from the World Trade Organization and the North American Free Trade Agreement to Nato and the Iran nuclear deal — as a first step towards renegotiating the world order on terms more favourable to Washington.

Once the order is destroyed, the Chinese elite believes, Mr Trump will move to stage two: renegotiating America’s relationship with other powers. Because the US is still the most powerful country in the world, it will be able to negotiate with other countries from a position of strength if it deals with them one at a time rather than through multilateral institutions that empower the weak at the expense of the strong.

My interlocutors say that Mr Trump is the US first president for more than 40 years to bash China on three fronts simultaneously: trade, military and ideology. They describe him as a master tactician, focusing on one issue at a time, and extracting as many concessions as he can. They speak of the skillful way Mr Trump has treated President Xi Jinping. “Look at how he handled North Korea,” one says. “He got Xi Jinping to agree to UN sanctions [half a dozen] times, creating an economic stranglehold on the country. China almost turned North Korea into a sworn enemy of the country.” But they also see him as a strategist, willing to declare a truce in each area when there are no more concessions to be had, and then start again with a new front.
They also said the Chinese view Trump meeting with Putin and forming better relations with Russia as a strategic move to "isolate China."

To think I was assured by late night comedian John Oliver that Donald Trump, er, excuse me, Blonald "McCheeto Face" Von Blumfp, was a complete doofus who had no idea what he's doing!

I'm sure Kamala Harris or Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez could do just as good a job!

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