Trump, no longer near his object of infatuation, to ramp up pressure on trade?

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Donald Trump left Beijing for Vietnam on November 10, leaving in his wake a flurry of propaganda and punditry. See below for notable coverage, and read roundups of news the day before, the first day, and the second day of Trump’s trip to Beijing on SupChina.

  • Bathed in the Xi Jinping bromance / ChinaFile
    China scholar and journalist Orville Schell reacts to Trump’s exaltation of Xi: “Despite all of President Trump’s boasts about being a tough negotiator, he seemed to have become so over-infatuated with his courtship, so hungry to ingratiate himself, and so eager to be bathed in acceptance that he had ended up being taken [advantage of].”
  • Chinese media hails success of Trump’s ‘pilgrimage’ to Beijing / The Guardian
    Fudan University scholar Shen Dingli adds, “Trump behaved moderately [and] respectfully … He showed respect to China’s leader and China’s culture … Xi has made Trump a better president.”
  • Trump attacks countries ‘cheating’ America at Apec summit / The Guardian
    Within hours of leaving Chinese soil, where Trump gave “great credit” to China for not playing by the rules, he went on a tirade attacking countries for not “playing by the rules.”
  • Opinion: Trump’s China trip an illusion of calm before the storm / SCMP
    Senior editor of the Diplomat, Ankit Panda, writes that “Trump’s speech on a ‘free and open Indo-Pacific’ in Da Nang in Vietnam will be limited in its effectiveness if the president isn’t seen as willing to stare down Xi in Beijing.”
  • Trump in China: A former ambassador says Xi is “playing him like a fiddle” / Quartz
    Jorge Guajardo, former Mexican ambassador to China, says that Trump’s “chemistry” with Xi is fake. He says his personal experience is, “You leave that meeting thinking ‘It went great,’” but when it comes time to negotiate, Chinese officials “laugh and say ‘No, let’s not confuse all that pomp and circumstance with the meat of the matter.’”
  • Trump in Beijing: Smiles mask growing tensions / Axios
    Seasoned China watcher Bill Bishop writes, “Trump may return to the U.S. and, barring a real breakthrough over the North Korea issue, begin rolling out a tougher policy towards China, especially on trade. Trump has been consistent for decades in his criticism of China and its trade practices, so the last 10 months of relative calm in the U.S.-China relationship seem more an anomaly than the status quo.”

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Lucas Niewenhuis

Lucas Niewenhuis is an associate editor at SupChina who helps curate daily news and produce the company’s newsletter, app, and website content. Previously, Lucas researched China-Africa relations at the Social Science Research Council and interned at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. He has studied Chinese language and culture in Shanghai and Beijing, and is a graduate of the University of Michigan.