Xi Jinping needs to tread carefully when he meets Trump. I hope that Xi Jinping likes wheaties, because he is going to need them this week as he faces Trump on his home turf in Mar-A-Lago.
President Xi of China is facing a tough Communist Party conference at home, and his reputation, so far stellar with his people, is at stake in this meeting of the two powerful world leaders.
For those of a romantic bent, Xi's embrace of globalization and militant stance in the South China Sea is perfectly suited to face off against Donald Trump's populist, nativist message of Western defiance in the face of Chinese provocation.
This narrative of East against West is particularly stirring in the face of North Korea's recent saber-rattling, and a martial direction towards solving these problems would certainly satisfy many of the more hawkish conservatives among us. Left unsaid is the certainty that an apocalyptic tone will certainly resonate with some on the fringes, and of course the Left will use this as a club to finish off Trump, this time for good. And somewhere, floating above it all, President Donald Trump carefully considers his next move on the glowing, semi-transparent four dimensional chessboard hovering in the air in front of his gilded throne.
Xi is seated before him, in a comfortable chair on an equal level, but Trump narrows his eyes. He knows that Xi is on the hotseat. At the 19th Party Conference, there is expected to be a shakeup. Xi needs to impress senior party officials, and these officials want what is best for China, not what is best for Xi.
If he does not make a favorable impression at this meeting, his shining political career may come to an end. And Donald Trump has a lot to hold Xi's feet to the fire about. An article on Bloomberg's online website states that "Trump has repeatedly blasted China for stealing American jobs, militarizing the South China Sea and failing to do more to stop North Korea. He threatened to use the One-China policy regarding Taiwan as a bargaining chip to get better trade terms before eventually relenting in a February phone call with Xi."
To China, Donald Trump is a wildcard. They do not want war or strife any more than we do, and everyone loves a good deal. So they will most likely approach this meeting with an eye towards mutual understanding and smoothing over of some trade details. And there have already been overtures towards Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner, now a senior advisor to President Trump.
If we can get along with China, it benefits everybody. But only time will tell how such possible sticking points as Taiwan might affect the outcome of this meeting. In the end, what the Chinese want should make us all breathe a sigh of relief: They want to make a good deal with the Don and then go home.