Nov 16, 2017

The China surge: “Change in the global order”

Mike Allen, author of AM

First Lady Melania Trump, President Trump, Chinese President Xi Jinping and China's First Lady Peng Liyuan tour the Forbidden City. Photo: Andrew Harnik / AP

President Trump yesterday declared his 12-day Asia swing "historic." A David Ignatius column says that may indeed prove true, but "probably not in the way he intends... It may signal a U.S. accommodation to rising Chinese power, plus a desire to mend fences with a belligerent Russia — with few evident security gains for the United States."

Ian Bremmer, president and founder of Eurasia Group, has a similar mega-trend interpretation — but says it was baked even before Trump's trip.

Bremmer wrote his clients, with his idiosyncratic punctuation:

  • "there have been two speeches of my lifetime that mark a change in the global order: when mikhail gorbachev announced [in 1991] the dissolution of the former soviet union, and two weeks ago when chinese president xi jinping declared that china was ready to ... become a superpower."
  • "it's the money china is spending around the region and globally; their technology strategy and the growing impact of the government and their companies together in the space; their policy pronouncements which are seen as having a lot more impact than those of other capitals; and the inevitable pushing ahead of their military in their backyard (most specifically around the south china sea)."
  • Why it matters: "asia used to be a conversation about hedging between the united states and china; now it's more about how to react and adapt to Beijing."

The Ignatius column, "Trump's extraordinary 12-day adulation tour," adds:

  • "If the 1945 Yalta summit marked U.S. acceptance of the Soviet Union's hegemony in Eastern Europe, this trip seemed to validate China's arrival as a Pacific power."
  • "As Xi put it to Trump, 'The Pacific Ocean is big enough to accommodate both China and the United States.''

P.S. Trump tweeted yesterday: "The failing @nytimes hates the fact that I have developed a great relationship with World leaders like Xi Jinping, President of China."

And this morning: "To the three UCLA basketball players I say: You're welcome, go out and give a big Thank You to President Xi Jinping of China who made ... your release possible and, HAVE A GREAT LIFE! Be careful, there are many pitfalls on the long and winding road of life!"

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