søndag 1. november 2020

How China's Xi Jinping blew a golden opportunity with US President Donald Trump

At the first meeting between Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping, held over chocolate cake and sorbet at the US President's vast Mar-a-Lago private club in Florida, the two leaders seemed on the brink of establishing an unlikely and potentially special relationship. Trump, less than three months into his first term, had spent his election campaign denouncing the Chinese government for undermining the United States, through a wide trade imbalance and cheap labor. "We can't continue to allow China to rape our country," Trump said in May 2016.

But when Trump was standing alongside Xi at Mar-a-Lago the following April, his tone changed dramatically. The two leaders exchanged compliments during a news conference, with Trump describing their relationship as "outstanding." Pictures from the meeting showed the two men sitting side-by-side, smiling broadly, on a golden couch. "It was a great honor to have President Xi Jinping and Madame Peng Liyuan of China as our guests ... Tremendous goodwill and friendship was formed," Trump tweeted shortly after the visit.