Re: “Trump is easily dazzled, the Chinese are not”, Have Your Say, yesterday.
Ye Olde Pedant is absolutely right to highlight the Chinese agenda with regard to the US, and to an extent the North Korea situation.
Using the baroque panoply of pomp and circumstance is hardly new in diplomatic circles, but when directed against the likes of Donald Trump it can be devastatingly effective. I have no doubt that President Xi has been closely monitoring the relationship between Trump and President Vladimir Putin and has noted how the latter has run rings around the former.
We should also be mindful of ulterior motives. It’s no secret that there may well be a transfer of economic hegemony in the not too distant future, and that China is playing the long game. The Chinese, rightly in their view, play the victim to highlight chronic grievances against foreign, notably Western, aggressors and exploiters. Now, China believes its time has come to take its rightful place as a front-rank nation-state.
As for North Korea again, it is unlikely that China will readily abandon a relationship with what the Pedant correctly calls its “ideological soulmate”, although one is tempted to think that this is also more about regional strategic contours, and the juxtaposition of US and Chinese military assets. There is a potentially combustible framework at work here, and as the old purportedly Chinese curse might have it, “may you live in interesting times”.