Mainstream media rejects President-elect Donald Trump’s approach, saying it could be “destructive” for good Sino-US relations. Yet Trump did nothing more than China, simply responding to one protest by another.
Trump follows the instructions found in his book Trump Style Negotiation (with George H. Ross) in which Trump wrote that a good negotiator must control the pace of the negotiation; which he did by calling Taiwan; identify the vulnerability of the “difficult partner”; which he did by tackling the hot topics of the Yuan and the South China Sea; aim high and set the tone; which he did by daring to tell what his predecessors would have kept for themselves.
Trump does not seek confrontation with China, he simply replaces the United States on an equal footing with China in the negotiation process. Inside Trump’s mind, negotiating in a position of weakness is not negotiating but surrendering. What is shocking is that a Western leader dares to reaffirm the very basis of a beneficial agreement namely reciprocity. Only the Westerners got surprised, the Chinese officials having received the message loud and clear.