U.S. President Donald Trump has just completed his first state visit to China, where he got together with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Before Trump became President, he blamed China in very stark words for taking advantage of the United States. However, on his visit to China he toned down the rhetoric, saying he didn’t blame the country for “taking advantage of another country for the benefit of its citizens”. He also said, him and President Xi had “great chemistry”.
Though, at first sight, Trump seems to be turning on his previous verbal assaults, there is a grain of consistency – if you argue that Trump wants to put his country first himself, in a gloves-off economic competition, where it’s not about cooperation but all-out competition. This is epitomized in his remark about “taking advantage of another country to the benefit of its citizens”. And, in Trump’s previous remarks there has also been a grain of admiration for Chinese tactics, as in: “You can win against China if you’re smart.”
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