China is our only serious rival for power in this world. Not Russia, or Japan, or Europe. It’s China. Trump just pushed the reset button in Sino-American relations, and it looks like he knew precisely what he was doing.
Today’s China news has a couple other items, and they’re both related to Trump’s call to the President of Taiwan. Just by coincidence, Henry Kissinger happens to be in Beijing today conferring with his old buddy Chinese President Xi. He’s actually there as Trump’s personal envoy, to tell Xi what Trump’s up to. Also, purely by coincidence, Trump talked yesterday with Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad about being U. S. Ambassador to China. Branstad and Xi go way back together, to 1985 when they met a trade visit by Branstad.
Again, just by circumstance, the first call Trump took after winning was from Japanese P. M. Abe. And Trump also just happened to talk recently with Philippine President Duterte. The whole world knows how well Trump and Putin are expected to get along. They’re soul mates.
In order to have a stable relationship with a competing world power, boundaries must be established. Trump is setting the border of Chinese power. Taiwan is within that border, but South Korea is not, Japan is not, and neither are the Philippines, Australia, Indonesia, or Southeast Asia. China’s northern neighbor (and natural rival for Asian supremacy) Russia is not in it, to say the least. From our forward base in Guam (currently under construction) we will lead this informal alliance. It will check any Chinese imperialist aggression.
And we’re not going to lose money on the deal. We’re pulling our troops from South Korea and Okinawa, and basing them in Guam. We won’t be subsidizing any one, and we won’t put our troops in harm’s way on some one else’s soil. That kind of forward deployment is over.
This all sets the table for the upcoming Sino-American trade talks. China needs to appreciate who has the upper hand, in terms of geopolitical power. Arrayed against her are Russia, the United States, Japan, South Korea, India and Southeast Asia. They’re not in a good bargaining position.
Kissinger’s been through this before. This is how we won the Cold War. We got China to ally with us, against Russia, and Russia was isolated. All the other Great Powers were against it, and it couldn’t stand alone. What Trump is doing is as significant as Nixon’s trip to China in 1971.
And all this can be done peacefully. There’s nothing worth fighting over, once the terms of the relationship are established. Besides, war is bad for business, and the Chinese want to get rich. We want them to get rich, as well. It can all be worked out. Trump’s election didn’t repeal the law of comparative advantage.
Trump’s at a party tonight. He deserves to enjoy himself. It turns out that in world affairs, he’s a hell of a lot smarter than I am.