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Trump's Man Crush


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This was then now the relationship is in full bloom....

 

The Chinese plan:

China’s plan for influencing Trump: lavish dinners and grand gestures

It worked for Saudi Arabia.

China will be giving Donald Trump some extra lavish treatment during his first presidential visit to the country — a sign that Beijing is angling to use flattery as a tool of diplomacy during high-stakes negotiations over trade and North Korea.

 

On Wednesday, China will honor Trump with not just an official “state visit” — typically the grandest and friendliest invitation that a visiting head of state is offered — but rather with a “state visit-plus,” according to Chinese Ambassador Cui Tiankai.

The reception will include a military honor guard, a formal banquet, and some as-yet undefined “special arrangements,” according to Cui. Trump will also be treated to an unusual amount of face-time with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

 

Publicly, Chinese officials insist such gestures are meant to reciprocate the hospitality that Trump showed Xi when he hosted Xi at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in April. But experts say that Beijing is trying to go the extra mile to butter up Trump during a critical time for defining their future relationship.

 

“The Chinese want to do everything they can to ensure a ‘successful visit’ — they will turn out big events, lots of gala celebrations, all kinds of things that Trump loves,” Jonathan Pollack, a senior fellow who specializes in East Asia at the Brookings Institution, told me. “They want the appearance of this visit to be quite grand and quite flattering.”

China is going to make the most out of home field advantage

There’s little doubt that the Chinese will go out of their way to cater to Trump’s idiosyncratic tastes as he goes through a trip that will place him out of his comfort zone.

 

The president’s visit to China will be the last stop on his grueling 12-day, five-country tour through Asia — the longest trip by an American president to the region in more than a quarter century.

 

Trump is known as a creature of habit and a homebody who makes inconvenient nighttime flights just to sleep in his own bed. One person involved in planning Trump’s Asia trip told CNN that they’ve asked for “No whole fish with the heads still on, nothing too spicy," on menus while he’s abroad. There will likely be luxurious sleeping quarters and special culinary arrangements intended to make Trump feel comfortable and upbeat.

But by giving Trump extra one-on-one time with Xi, the Chinese are doing more than just appealing to Trump’s ego. They’re also creating an environment to maximize influence over him. Trump is notably fond of Xi and swayed easily during one-on-one conversations. After the Mar-a-Lago summit, Trump admitted that Xi managed to radically reshape Trump’s views on how to rein in North Korea’s nuclear program in a matter of minutes.

“After listening for 10 minutes, I realized it’s not so easy,” he told the Wall Street Journal in April. “I felt pretty strongly that they had a tremendous power [over] North Korea. ... But it’s not what you would think.”

That’s essential for understanding why the Chinese view this upcoming meeting as such a big opportunity. Xi was able to single-handedly convince Trump to move much closer to the Chinese perspective on how to handle Pyongyang’s rogue nuclear program, even though the US and China have sharply differing strategic interests in their approach to the issue.

Undoubtedly, Xi will try to do that again during talks about security and the economy — and this time he’ll have a stronger hand.

Trump just had one of the worst weeks of his presidency. Xi is at the apex of his power.

Xi will not only be able to impress Trump with grand gestures and flattery while hosting him in his own country. He’ll also be able to flex his muscles.

 

The Chinese Communist Party recently reappointed Xi as president, and in the process endowed him with more power than a Chinese leader has had in decades.

 

Trump was clearly impressed with Xi’s reappointment, which some China analysts say have given him powers over Chinese affairs comparable to the founder of modern China, Mao Zedong. Trump told Fox News in October that Xi’s special elevation has “really virtually never happened in China” before now.

 

“People say we have the best relationship of any president-president, because he’s called president also,” he said. “Now some people might call him the king of China. But he’s called president.”

With more political capital than he’s ever had before, Xi will likely feel more confident and agile projecting Chinese power in talks with Trump over how to handle North Korea and rebalance the trade deficit.

 

Trump, by contrast, may feel somewhat desperate. Plagued by Russia scandals and dropping poll numbers at home, he’ll likely be impatient and more inclined for some kind of symbolic political win.

 

Damien Ma, a China analyst at the Paulson Institute, told me he expects to see Xi offer symbolic gestures like buying a fleet of Boeing aircraft from the US.

 

“There will be some headline grabbing deals, I’m sure,” he said. “But whether they try to solve some underlying structural issue, that’s something we’ll have to see.”

 

Those structural issues are things like China’s hostility to foreign investors and its subsidies of exports — behaviors that violate global trade and investment norms and give it a big advantage in global markets.

Those are things that Trump needs to tackle in hard-charging negotiations with Beijing if he truly wants to deliver on his promise to check the rise of Chinese economic power in the global arena. We’ll see if he can keep his eye on the ball.

 

Success!! And they score!! \o/ from the Asia times :P

Trump in Asia: The player gets played

In the 1970s con-artist movie The Sting, the bad guy is scammed out of his money and he never even knows it. This is Trump is in Asia. The man who sees himself as the consummate deal-maker, the player who believes that “winning” is everything and that the world is basically a zero-sum game is being played for a fool.

 

It is easy to see why Trump loves to go overseas. It’s the only time he’s really treated like a president – or at least his idea of how a president should be treated. It’s all the kind of adulation he craves: red carpets, state dinners, speeches, and, above all, photo ops that show him being masterful and respected.

 

He also loves being around strong, authoritarian types whose word is taken as law and whose orders are never contested. Tough guys like Putin or Erdogan or Saudi royalty. And when they welcome him into the circle of fellow tough guys, Trump feels validated.

 

So it is easy to bamboozle Trump. Abe in Japan stroked his ego, taking him golfing and serving him hamburgers. He got to make a no-brainer, take-that-North-Korea speech to South Korea’s national assembly. He almost got to do the classic DMZ photo op, staring through binoculars at the land of his favorite (and perhaps only) dictator-he-loves-to-hate, but bad weather (probably a Democrat) ruined his adventure.

Xi plays the trade card

But it was in China where Trump was really handed his hat. For some reason, Trump is enthralled with Chinese leader Xi Jinping, perhaps because Trump wants to see in himself what he thinks Xi is: the perfect authoritarian. Xi won Trump over earlier this year during his visit to Mar-a-Lago, over a “beautiful piece of cake.” The love affair has not yet abated.

 

Trump lavished praise on Xi while he was in Beijing. He criticized America’s trade deficit with China but said that it was America’s, not China’s, fault (talk about an apology tour!). He basically handed the North Korean problem over to Beijing (and we know how that will likely turn out). And he never brought up human rights.

 

Basically, Trump the president has walked back nearly all the criticism of China made by Trump the candidate. And yet Xi has given nothing in return. Trump and his team ballyhooed the signing of $250 billion in trade and investment deals with China while in Beijing, but most of these deals are non-binding “memorandums of understanding” which may not materialize for years, if ever.

Another deal permits China to jointly develop a liquefied natural gas project in Alaska. In other words, Trump is permitting Chinese state-run enterprises to get their hands on US natural resources.

Trump’s continuing abandonment of Asia to China

Xi has lately become even more powerful, having emerged from the recent 19th Chinese Communist Party conference in an even stronger position. His thoughts are enshrined in the Chinese constitution, along with “Mao Zedong Thought” and “Deng Xiaoping Theory.” He is undoing China’s post-Mao tradition of collective leadership and may refuse to retire after his second term as party leader expires in 2022, as is customary.

 

Trump, meanwhile, continues to lose ground in his own country. His approval ratings are in the cellar, and Republicans lost “bigly” in recent elections. Trump’s legislative agenda is practically DOA. Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election edges ever closer to Trump’s inner circle.

 

If Trump looks weak, it is because he is. And for the Asia-Pacific, this is a matter of utmost importance, for it involves nothing less than who will be the linchpin of Asian security in the future, China or the United States?

Can US leadership be restored?

According to Evan Medeiros, former senior director for Asian affairs at the National Security Council under president Barack Obama and now with the Eurasia Group, the United States is central to Asian security and stability. In a recent article in the Washington Post, Medeiros said the United States is the “anchor power” in Asia, because of “the rules, institutions and values it represents.”

Trump, he says, “fundamentally calls that into question when he’s praising the Chinese political system – and not getting much in exchange.” He subsequently raises the question that, “in Trump’s effort to ingratiate himself with Xi, is he inadvertently ceding American primacy to China?”

It’s not too late. The US’s 70-year leadership in Asia has a lot of inertia, and it should be able to survive Trump’s inattention or outright sabotage. But it requires more than the usual blather about “The Generals” – that supposedly wiser heads like Defense Secretary James Mattis or National Security Advisor HR McMaster will somehow reign in Trump’s worst instincts. The organs of US foreign and security policy – the Departments of State and Defense especially – need to be properly filled out with experts and policymakers. A real “Trump doctrine” could and should be formulated, but it should not be based on the tweets and brain-burps of a man easily flattered and sweet-talked by manipulative autocrats.

 

Trump praises China's 'highly respected' Xi

 

The man crush:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Well, of course.  Pathological narcissists like Trump are the easiest people in the world to manipulate.  Just shower them t\with the attention, praise and compliments they are so desperate for, and they will do anything to keep that narcissistic supply coming.

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