Trump-Xi Jinping meet – from trade to geopolitics

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The first summit between Trump and Xi Jinping was an apparent flop, muddied by the Syrian and North Korean situations.




Trump-Xi Jinping meet – from trade to geopolitics



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  1. Super-powers meet : In the first week of April 2017, the heads of the world’s two most powerful countries - US President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping - met at Trump’s Florida sea resort. Trump has bitterly criticised China all along for being a “currency manipulator” and a “regional bully”. Bilateral trade and security are likely to be the main areas of discussion apart from North Korea and Syria.
  2. All hail Kim! North Korea and trade were likely to be high on the agenda. President Xi is a highly experienced and an astute diplomat, whereas President Trump is a businessman involved in politics less than two years ago. But situations changed a lot when the summit concluded. American has told China that "it is willing to go all alone if China just cannot help America with the North Korean problem".
  3. Only China over North Korea : China is the country that has the most influence over the erratic and isolated leadership of North Korea, and China is North Korea’s largest trading partner. It was assumed that Trump may try to persuade Xi to adopt much tighter economic sanctions against that country. But at the end, it was announced by the Americans that the Chinese were conveyed that if they were unable to handle the N.Korean problem, then American will solve it on its own.
  4. Middle East : The recent chemical attacks in Syria could also be an important issue for discussion between the two leaders. Trump had already said that he was changing his view of the Assad regime (the US has already made a direct military cruise missile assault on the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad). The military action must have been carried out without UN Security Council endorsement. China becomes important when considering the diplomatic fallout from any military operation. Russia would strongly object, and in the past, China has mostly stood behind Russia on this issue.
  5. From tough to soft : Throughout his election campaign, Trump repeatedly criticized Chinas trade policies. He even labeled China as a currency manipulator. However, his language has softened in recent times. However, analysts predicted tough talking by the two leaders during the meeting. There were no clear signals post the summit on any "firm deal" being struck.
  6. One China policy : Taiwan is another issue which the two leaders were likely to discuss during the meeting. Soon after his election victory, President Trump took a congratulatory call from Tsai Ing-wen, the leader of Taiwan. China saw this as a breach of the long standing "One China" policy which the US had recognized all these years. But there was no announcment or hints regarding the same post-summit.
  7. South China sea tangle : Chinese activity in the South China Sea worried many of the US allies in the region. China has turned reefs in the sea into reinforced militarised islands. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, in a move possibly timed to coincide with the Trump/Xi summit, has ordered his military to fortify up to ten islands within the Spratly’s group that his country controls.
  8. Deep Dive : Check out many resources worth reading and viewing here, here and here.
  9. Do check out exams-focussed Confidence Booster series of learning resources, here!
  10. Some images for data and facts are presented below, for your reference.


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Bodhi Saar: Trump-Xi Jinping meet – from trade to geopolitics
Trump-Xi Jinping meet – from trade to geopolitics
The first summit between Trump and Xi Jinping was an apparent flop, muddied by the Syrian and North Korean situations.
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