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A smarter, stronger China - thanks to Trump

34 0 19

It was hilarious to watch world leaders jockey for position for the “family photo” at the G20 summit in Argentina last week. Wielding huge power and bulging with oversized egos, these normally self-assured individuals behaved like primary school kids on their first day, scrambling to stand next to someone they like.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman clung to each other like two lonely strangers at a dance. US President Donald Trump acted the tough guy, but just looked miserable. International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde and British Prime Minister Theresa May wore cheery smiles that hid their inner turmoil. Perhaps the biggest influencer of all, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, missed the session, delayed by a dodgy plane. Everyone wished they were somewhere else.

The final communiqués at these lovefests must usually be written beforehand for anything to be agreed. Trump is the exception. He likes one-on-ones. He is a professional deal maker in a way that does not come easily to politicians. So, the big meeting between President Xi Jinping and Trump was always going to produce a result. About the only thing we are sure of now is that there will be a tariff truce until March – but that is just what Trump wants; it gives the other side enough pressurised breathing space to move its position without losing face.

Trump says China trade war talks will end in March – unless they don’t


© South China Morning Post