Sunday, 7 October 2018
Trump's China Card
Trump’s gone nuts again, accusing China of meddling with the internal affairs of the USA. Pence — the guy who secretly aspires to become president next year — gave a speech at the Hudson Institute last week, basically declaring a cold war on China, unprovoked.
Few sane persons could seriously believe that. But many Americans do. Being free spirits by self-declaration, they’re not very serious about serious matters such as international relations. Plus many have been secretly missing that little cunning sneaky yellowish Fu Manchu, and are happy to see him resurrected by the imagination of their national leaders. Not having to pretend civil feels like freedom to some.
It’s a waste of time putting forth common sense arguments such as “hey, the USA has been openly interfering, actively subverting actually, other countries’ elections and political process on a daily basis!” or “hey, if the American system is so pitifully vulnerable, why is it being sold by brute force to everyone else on planet earth?” or “Uh, can I see some evidence, please?”
No! America is America. It’s exceptional: exceptionally violent, exceptionally arrogant, exceptionally bullying, exceptional in everything, with few exceptions.
So, is this declaration of cold-war against China just another senseless move by Trump the Great-again?
Not really. Trump is not as stupid as he looks.
Let me guess his strategy, which is becoming obvious. Yes, what I’m about to say is entirely guess work without evidence. Everyone’s doing that. All journalists do that in their daily news. Presidents of rich and powerful democracies depend on fantasy for evidence. Why can’t I? Plus my speculation track record is not too bad so far.
Trump’s declaration of war against China mainly serves three purposes.
Firstly, it’s a political statement and counter-attack against Russia-gate. If his opponents can accuse Russia of meddling with America’s muddled politics without evidence, why can’t he accuse China of doing the same bereft of evidence? What can the Democrats say to that?
Secondly, it’s the mid-term elections. American politicos don’t do governing. Their full-time occupation is to win elections. In my opinion, Trump is a blessing in disguise for China (See “Trump for President”). So we have every reason to want him to stay on, even re-elected. If Beijing’s leaders read my blog and agree with me, they should issue a statement lecturing Americans about their President Trump, telling them to get rid of him ASAP, and return to the norms of international politics, before too late. Child psychology works like magic with American voters — with most ballot-box fans anywhere actually.
But Donald knows that Beijing will not militarise child-psychology. Chinese leaders are too sensible and boring. So he’s decided to do it himself: “China China China want to get rid of me! Listen voters! China China China wants to get rid of me! I repeat …..”
Thirdly, most importantly, it’s a potential escape route for Trump.
If the Republicans lose the mid-term elections, Trump may have to face impeachment. China may save him, and I’m not suggesting that he will seek political asylum with the Chinese Embassy.
If the Democrats control congress after November, Trump will provoke body contacts in the South China Sea (SCS), making good his verbal threats. Military conflict with China will galvanise the American public who are getting bored with only a few minor wars in the Middle East. Plus it will be a big deal economically and militarily. It’ll be very exciting as far as America is concerned. It will derail if not outright abort the impeachment process. The consequence for the US will be grave; a military defeat will have gambled away the Empire’s last card. Would Trump care if the alternative is impeachment though? Democrats should take note of Trump’s blackmailing move. He’s not so stupid huh?
Trump also understands that a conflict with China will be much safer than one with Russia. China will stop fighting whenever he stops. Russian temper is less predictable.
On the other hand, if child psychology prevails, and the Republicans retain congress, Trump will most likely forget his threats about the SCS. Nobody will remind him. Meanwhile, his buddies will have made a timely killing in the market, and Beijing will have missed an excellent opportunity to liberate Taiwan.
James Tam 2018.10.7