Posted tagged ‘Trump meets Xi Jinping’

Trump Sends a Message to China Through Syria

April 10, 2017

Trump Sends a Message to China Through Syria, Front Page Magazine, Daniel Greenfield, April 10, 2017

On Thursday evening, President Trump met with China’s President Xi and bombed Syria. The decision came as Trump traveled on Air Force One to meet with Xi at Mar-a-Lago. An hour into their dinner, 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles launched and pounded an airbase in Syria. The message wasn’t just for Assad and Putin. It was for Xi and his North Korean client state. The era of a weak America was over.

Xi had come to America expecting an easy photo op visit. President Trump would urge action on North Korea and Xi would smile coldly and shoot him down. Talk of fairer trade would be similarly dismissed.

And then Xi would go home and laugh that the bold new American leader was another paper tiger.

Except that President Trump had a different plan. Instead of Xi showing how tough he could be, Trump gave him a front row seat to a display of American power. The message was both obvious and subtle.

And President Xi, along with Russia’s Vladimir Putin, North Korea’s Kim Jong-un and Iran’s Supreme Leader Khamenei, aren’t laughing.

The obvious part was as blatant as a 1,000 pound explosive warhead slamming into concrete and steel, and as obvious as upstaging Xi’s efforts to stonewall Trump while warning that North Korea could be next if the Chinese leader continues to be obstinate.

Trump had warned throughout the campaign that he would not be laying his military plans on the table. “You’re telling the enemy everything you want to do!” he had mocked Clinton.

His address to the nation came an hour after the missiles had struck. The element of surprise had held.

And Xi came away with a very different message. The Obama era was over. The new guy was bold, dangerous and unpredictable. Like many of Trump’s American opponents, Xi understood now that the jovial man sitting next to him could and would violate the rules of the game without prior warning.

China would have to be careful. There was a cowboy in the White House again.

And that was the subtle part. Trump does not care very much about Assad. What he truly cares about is American power. Left-wing critics quickly pounced on Trump’s past opposition to strikes on Syria and his criticisms of Obama for not enforcing his own “red line”.

There is no contradiction.

Trump didn’t believe that strikes on Syria were a good idea. But once we had committed to a red line, then we had to follow through if we were going to be taken seriously.

And so Trump enforced Obama’s red line. Not because of Obama or Syria. But because of America.

“When he didn’t cross that line after making the threat, I think that set us back a long ways, not only in Syria, but in many other parts of the world because it was a blank threat,” President Trump said.

President Trump intends to get things done. And he knows it won’t happen with “blank” threats.

Asked about whether the strikes represented a message to Xi and North Korea, Secretary of State Tillerson replied, “It does demonstrate that President Trump is willing to act when governments and actors cross the line and cross the line on violating commitments they have made.”

“President Trump has made that statement to the world tonight,” he added.

The message is more subtle than a 1,000 pound warhead. But not by that much.

President Trump’s move bewildered leftist critics who had to shift from accusing him of having a secret relationship with Russia to accusing him of ruining our relationship with Russia. It also enraged some supporters who maintained a dogmatic non-interventionist position. But Trump doesn’t make decisions based on ideology. He measures policies against real world objectives, not abstract philosophies.

What he has always wanted to do is solve real problems.

The problem he was solving on Thursday wasn’t Assad. President Trump recognizes that Syria is an unsolvable problem and that little good can come of extended engagement with it. There are no good guys in Syria. Only Sunni and Shiite Jihadis and their victims. Syria is and will always be a dead end.

The problem is that Obama thoroughly wrecked American prestige and power over eight years. And that makes it painfully difficult to get anything done when no one in the world will take us seriously.

President Trump sees North Korea’s nuclear weapons as a major threat. But he also sees the crisis as a way to leverage our military might to achieve better trade deals with both partners and rivals. He is not wedded to a globalist or anti-globalist ideology. Instead he sees every problem as an opportunity.

He is not committed to any international coalition, globalist or anti-globalist, except where it temporarily serves American purposes. That is what being a true nationalist actually means.

That is what makes him so unpredictable and so dangerous.

President Trump made a point in Syria. He timed that point for maximum effect. The point isn’t that Assad is a bad man. Though he is. It’s not that he isn’t a Russian puppet, though only the lunatic left could have believed that. The point is that he is determined that America will be taken seriously.

Cruise missile diplomacy isn’t new. Bill Clinton fired over 500 cruise missiles into Iraq. Not to mention Sudan. Bush fired cruise missiles into Somalia. Obama signed off on firing cruise missiles into Yemen and Syria at terrorist targets. The difference is that Trump isn’t just saving face with cruise missile diplomacy.

President Trump’s real objective isn’t the Middle East. It’s Asia. He doesn’t see Russia as our leading geopolitical foe, but China. Syria was the opening shot in a staring contest with the People’s Republic. The moves in this chess game will sometimes be obvious and sometimes subtle. And Trump is usually at his most subtle when he’s being obvious. That’s what his enemies usually miss.

President Trump’s first step in Syria was to reestablish physical and moral authority on the international stage while the President of China had to sit there and watch. He humiliated Democrats and their media operation at the peak of their Russia frenzy. And he sent the message that America is back.

It’s not a bad return on a $60 million investment. We’ve spent much more in the field with less to show for it.

The Obama era in international affairs ended with whimper and a hollow Nobel Peace Prize as a trophy. The Trump era in international affairs began with 59 cruise missiles and a big bang.

Commentary: Xi-Trump meeting to assure world on China-U.S. ties

April 5, 2017

Commentary: Xi-Trump meeting to assure world on China-U.S. ties, Xinhua Net, Zhang Chunxiao, Meng Na,  April 5, 2017

(They will probably reach agreement on all the “important” stuff, but not such “trivia” as Taiwan, the South China Sea disputed territories, North Korean nukes and missiles and the defense of South Korea and Japan using THAAD. — DM)

BEIJING, April 5 (Xinhua) — Chinese President Xi Jinping and his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump will meet in Florida, the United States, from Thursday to Friday to set the tone for the future development of bilateral relations.

The Mar-a-Lago meeting, the first between the two presidents since Trump took office in January, will dispense with much of the formality usually entailed in a state visit, focusing on effective communication of issues of common concern.

For those alarmed that uncertainties might arise from policy adjustments of the Trump administration, the meeting sends a positive and reassuring message that the two countries lay great stress on stability in their relationship.

Since the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1979, China and the United States have had their share of ups and downs, but cooperation has remained the main theme, especially now given their greater-than-ever interdependence and increasing convergence of interests.

The two countries have come a long way, with two-way trade of goods surging 207-fold from 1979 to 519.6 billion U.S. dollars in 2016. Bilateral investment amounted to more than 170 billion dollars at the end of last year. They also cooperated in the fight against terrorism, climate change and other issues of global impact.

Accomplishments like these speak volumes about how beneficial a sound China-U.S. relationship can be, not only to the two peoples involved, but the world at large. Cooperation has proved to be the right way forward.

In 2013, Beijing and Washington agreed to move forward their ties based on non-confrontation, no conflict, mutual respect and win-win cooperation.

These principles are expected to continue to prevail, as indicated by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s reiteration of the principles in his March trip to China and Trump’s pledge to adhere to the one-China policy in a phone talk with Xi in February.

Maintaining close communication, especially at the top level, will make sure their relations stay on the right track.

Amid a weak global economic recovery and a growing backlash against globalization, the world is looking to China and the United States.

In the upcoming meeting, Xi and Trump are expected to seek consensus on economic and trade cooperation, among other topics. Results of the meeting will have global implications.

As major countries, China and the United States should do more than just looking out for their own best interests.

They need to set good examples for the world, shoulder due responsibility, and separately or jointly, provide more public goods to promote mankind’s well-being.

Avoiding the Thucydides Trap is crucial. Enhanced dialogue and coordination between the two sides could do the trick.

A crazy fat kid and his nuclear toys

April 4, 2017

A crazy fat kid and his nuclear toys, Washington TimesWesley Pruden, April 3, 2017

(Kim Chi-un, I mean Kim Jong-un, is fat and his claimed craziness lets us laugh at him; at least until he unleashes an EMP attack on America. However, he is probably saner than some members of the U.S. Congress. Inscrutable? Unpredictable? Sure. Acting crazy has worked for him and his predecessors for years; he would be “crazy” to appear to be sane. Rationality would make him predictable and unpredictability is an asset in war. — DM)

Kim Jong-un may be “a crazy fat kid” with a goofy haircut, but he is doing what his father and his grandfather never could. With nuclear weapons to play with, he frightens the West enough to make it start thinking about doing something about the most dangerous crazy fat kid on earth.

By some reliable intelligence estimates North Korea now has eight nuclear weapons, but no way to deliver them farther than the Sea of Japan, but they’re working on it. They have to get the size of the bomb down to manageable weight and girth before an intercontinental missile could reach the California coast with it.

What seemed absurd only a few years ago is thought to be soon in the crazy fat kid’s box of toys. The failure of the early missiles was easy to mock, like the purple prose of the propaganda artists in Pyongyang. But Kim and his scientists, believed to be working with the help of Iran and the nuclear-weapons program saved by Barack Obama, are moving steadily to full membership in the club of nations with “the bomb.”

Kim has the family DNA and the brutal Marxist ambitions of his father and grandfather, but little of their appreciation of the rational. A recent defector from North Korea, Thae Young Ho, the deputy North Korean ambassador to London, says “Kim Jong-un is a man who will do anything beyond the normal imagination.” He ordered an uncle and his half-brother “terminated with extreme prejudice” — as in, dead — because he reckoned them threats to his own life. He knows that when the regime goes, he goes with it. That’s the way it works in a satrap like North Korea. Terror is the constant companion to the dictator who lives by the whip and the gun.

Kim lives a life of sumptuous ease in Pyongyang, surrounded by sycophants and the pleasures of the table, adding to his girth with a rich diet of imported groceries while millions of his countrymen live close to starvation. He is particularly vain for a fat man, and Sen. John McCain’s recent description of him as “a crazy fat kid” stirred him to rage.

Mr. McCain had told an interviewer at MSNBC, the cable-TV channel, that “the crazy fat kid running North Korea is far worse than some of history’s worst dictators. He’s not rational. We’re not dealing with someone like Joseph Stalin, who had a certain rationality to his barbarity.”

The Korean Central News Agency, the mouthpiece of the Kim regime, accused Mr. McCain of “hurting the dignity of the country and the supreme leadership of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea,” i.e., North Korea. When Sen. Ted Cruz joined other conservatives to file legislation to put North Korea on the list of state sponsors of terrorism again, he was denounced as a dignity-damager, too, and promised all manner of punishment.

The senators, said the news agency, “will have to bitterly experience the disastrous consequences to be entailed by their reckless tongue-lashing and then any regret for it will come too late. The revolutionary forces of [North Korea] with its nuclear force as its pivot will fulfill its sacred mission of devotedly defending its supreme leadership representing the destiny and life of its people by dealing with merciless sledgehammer blows at those daring to hurt the dignity of the supreme leadership.”

All that merciless work with a sledgehammer seems a little wasteful of resources to punish two mere senators, worthy as those gents may be (but the example of sledgehammer rhetoric might be instructive to the pundits in the West who have done their darnedest to take down Donald Trump and still haven’t managed to put their rhetoric in the killer shade of purple).

Nevertheless, a genuine threat lies beneath the entertaining bluster and braggadocio. Adm. Scott Swift, the commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, tells NBC News that American officials are particularly wary of Kim Jong-un’s latest threats to hit an American city with a nuclear bomb.

“They have the nuclear capability,” the admiral says. “They’ve demonstrated that. Where they’re going with the miniaturization of that, whether they can actually weaponize a missile, that’s what’s driving the current concern.”

President Trump told London’s Financial Times on Monday that “something has to be done about North Korea.” Secretary of Defense James Mattis, once called “Mad Dog Mattis,” says North Korea “has got to be stopped.” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says a military response is “on the table.”

President Trump entertains Chinese President Xi Jinping this week at Mar-A-Lago, and he’ll have a lot to tell him. But if President Xi can’t make Kim behave, somebody else will have to do it, and soon. Scary to think about. It’s even scarier to think about not doing anything.