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Under the whistle of tomahawks
How the first meeting between Trump and Si takes place - the expert's opinion is published by the portal carnegie.ru
In Xi Jinping, an impulsive demonstration of force is unlikely to make an impression, especially given that no Chinese interests, unlike Russian ones, have been affected by the blow to Syria. On the contrary, a decisive military action, beyond which there is no long-term strategy, will only confirm the emotionality and impulsiveness of its counterpart, and this is best counteracted by methodical teamwork.
Alexander Gabuev Head of the program "Russia in the Asia-Pacific Region" of the Carnegie Moscow Center
Throughout his presidential campaign, Trump so often blamed the PRC for all the troubles of the American economy, that his obsession with China had become meme. Now, Trump accepts Xi Jinping in Florida at his villa Mar-o-Lago, where only the most important foreign guests have been invited so far (for example, Angela Merkel, for example, didn’t call Trump there), and they don’t even smell anything like burgers. and tramply, with signature tasteless luxury.
The meeting and the truth is not ordinary: the two most powerful men in the world are being introduced who will manage the most important bilateral relations on the planet in the coming years. The host of the summit, and the situation seems to look like Donald Trump. After all, this is Xi Jinping specially arrived half the world in order to personally get to know the American president and spend a day with him. However, this is only the first impression. In the hands of the leader of the PRC, serious maps, primarily thanks to the reign of the American administration of the mess, which the Chinese diplomats who prepared the summit skillfully used. "All the hope for the Chinese, they are at a meeting in Florida for the elders," veterans of the Asian politics of the former republican administrations bitterly bitter.
How did it come about that usually well-trained Americans lost the first round of a diplomatic duel with their main rival, without really having time to start it?
Autumn of the patriarch
In mid-November last year in Washington, perhaps, there was no more frustrated expatriate than Chinese Ambassador Cui Tiankai (崔天凯). Tsui - one of the best Chinese diplomats of its generation. Having started his career as a synchronist with English, he graduated from Washington at the prestigious Paul H. Nitze School for Advanced International Studies, one of the forges for the Department of State, worked in senior positions in the central office, was ambassador to Japan, and in 2013, immediately after joining Xi Jinping to power, led the diplomatic mission in the United States.
Like everyone else in China, Cui was preparing for the victory of Hillary Clinton - he was familiar with all key members of her team, while the advisors for Asia and potential middle-ranking officials, so important in the American system, knew as relatives. Like every professional, he stayed away from the freakish advisers of the freakish Republican candidate, delegating communication with people like General Michael Flynn to his subordinates. Moreover, those who claimed the role of Sinology Guru in the Trump team, people like Michael Pillsbury or Peter Navarro in China itself enjoy a terrible reputation. Everything changed after Trump's sudden victory, to which the ambassador was not ready. At that moment, it seemed that his colleague Sergei Kislyak was on the horse.
Beijing's first attempts to establish serious contacts with Trump's team did not succeed. Realizing that many of the people who fought around Trump's campaign are impostors and that there are no professional Sinologists in the cage for the new president, the Chinese decided to establish a dialogue with Trump's closest associates. By that time, the new president had already managed to repeat many negative statements about China, and 2 December, spoke on the phone with Taiwanese President Tsai Inven (蔡英文), after which Beijing worried seriously.
A week later, on the instructions of Xi Jinping, Yang Jiechi (杨洁篪), a member of the State Council and curator of China's foreign policy, flew to New York. Him conversation In the Trump Tower with key advisers to the new president, including Steven Bannon, made a very bad impression on the Americans - Emissary Xi Jinping gave them a lecture on how the US should respect the interests of China, especially on the Taiwan issue.
The next day in an interview with Fox President сказалthat the United States does not have to adhere to the “one China” policy. According to the stories of people who spoke with representatives of the Trump team, the Trump Tower had already begun to discuss the idea of a “big Chinese day” - a one-time announcement on the introduction of 45% tariffs on a number of Chinese goods, selling a large batch of weapons to Taiwan, and starting an investigation into the manipulation of the renminbi. Lobbyists for this idea were supposedly Bannon and Navarro.
Cui Tiankai was desperate and went to ask for advice from Henry Kissinger, “a longtime friend of the Chinese people”. The ex-Secretary of State has already visited the Trump Tower and has become an informal advisor to both the president and members of his closest circle. After listening to the guest, Kissinger silently wrote to him by hand the mobile phone of Jared Kushner - the son-in-law of the president, who officially holds the post of senior adviser at the White House and enjoys the almost unlimited trust of Donald Trump. This is how the Kushner-Tsui communication channel originated, which became the main line of communication between Washington and Beijing. According to Chinese diplomats and White House staff, Kushner and Tsui are now constantly on the phone and can call up several times a day.
Trying to reach out to the president through his family, the Chinese side made the right bet on the proximity of Jared and his wife Ivanka to the president, as opposed to non-native and unfamiliar people like the expelled from the administration with the disgrace of General Michael Flynn. Trump is ready to entrust Kuschner with the most complex and delicate missions - for example, Jared is also the emissary of the president in the Middle East and flew to Mar-o-Lago from Baghdad.
In addition, Jared China was interesting for purely commercial reasons - his family company Kushner Enterprises Led Talks with the Anbang (安邦) group, rumored to represent the interests of the Deng Xiaoping family, about investing in a complex of buildings in New York on Fifth Avenue. From the transaction recently had to refuse Due to noise in Congress and a potential conflict of interest. Nevertheless, hardly anyone will be surprised if Kushner Enterprises will soon have good projects in the PRC or generous Chinese partners.
Obviously, the star couple Jared - Ivanka China likes a long time. Their eldest daughter teaches Chinese, and even the youngest one-year-old son Joseph is already laying out turrets from cubes with hieroglyphics. The Washington Sinologists joke that it was the five-year-old Arabella Kushner who is now the chief sinologist in the US. Ivanka Descended With her at the reception at the Chinese Embassy on the occasion of the New Year on the lunar calendar, and the next day posted on her twitter a video where the girl reads a rhyme in Chinese - roller became a hit on the Chinese Internet, gaining millions of views.
Kushner Channel - Tsui proved to be extremely effective. Shortly after starting to communicate with the Chinese ambassador, Jared Kushner was able to convince his father-in-law that trying to play with China on the Taiwan issue is a bad idea, after which he assured Cui Tiankaya that the president is ready to confirm his commitment to the “one China” principle in the next telephone conversation with Xi Jinping (the conversation was immediately organized). Then the Chinese side proposed to hold a personal summit as soon as possible - and again Kouchner and Cui took over the negotiations.
When Secretary of State Rex Tillerson went on a first visit to Beijing, Cui Tiankai through Kushner proposed the formulation of a joint statements with Foreign Minister Wang Yi (王毅), which was compiled in the spirit of Chinese diplomacy. The statement contains all the code words so important for China that imply the equal status of China and the United States, as well as America’s respect for “indigenous Chinese interests”, including territorial integrity (and therefore, it’s impossible for officials to meet, for example, the Dalai Lama or Tsai Inven) or non-interference in internal affairs.
Kissinger, with whom Tillerson dined on the eve of his flight to Beijing, also applied his hand to the statement. The language of the document caused a huge disturbance most American expert sinologists who worked in previous administrations. The consensus is that the language gives a symbolic power - whoever formulates terminology for describing bilateral relations sets the tone for them, and therefore the United States should in no way agree on Chinese language.
No less a shock in Washington is caused by the administrative design of the preparations for the summit. With the exception of Rex Tillerson, the rest of the State Department was, in fact, excluded from the process. In the evenings, behind the bourbon frustrated diplomats tell how they wrote multi-page references on the eve of the summit and how they later learned that these certificates were immediately sent to the trash can. On the websites of the State Department and the Pentagon, in those places where biographies of deputy ministers and their assistants for Asia are posted, "vacancy" is now written. Representatives of special services Trump people do not trust, so they do not read the CIA information.
A little better situation in the National Security Council, where the role of the main Sinologist plays Matthew Pottinger, senior director for Asia and special assistant to the president, is a forty-three-year-old who is not only very young by American standards for such a serious position, but also has an extremely non-linear biography: he began his career as a journalist at Reuters and the Wall Street Journal, then in the process of patriotic impulse In the reconnaissance of the Marine Corps, where he served with General Flynn. Pottinger is one of the few Flynn people Trump's new national security adviser, General Herbert McMaster, asked to stay. However, the influence of Pottinger and the entire staff of the Security Council is extremely limited - they did not enter the narrow circle of people who had discussed the upcoming meeting with Xi Jinping with Trump.
Considering the asymmetry of the negotiating teams from two sides, it can be said that the American team entered the match with the Chinese not just without any bench, but even without half of the players and with the assistant head coach, who actually represents the Chinese team. But the White House is clearly not confused. There is a feeling that the people around Trump are preparing for the US-China relations the same breakthrough that Kissinger achieved in 1972, and the style of preparation for the Mar-o-Lago summit is a lot like the way Nixon and Mao prepared.
Disputes of economic entities
Unlike the Americans, the Chinese worked hard to prepare for the summit very systematically and methodically. The last two months, Washington and New York were flooded with big businessmen, top-managers of state companies, officials and authoritative experts who collected information on Trump, its priorities, request positions and decision-making process. Xi Jinping comes to Florida completely armed with all the information he needs - in Beijing, worked many scenarios of negotiations, preparing his leader for any turn of the conversation, armed him with the right numbers, arguments and specific proposals, and at the same time trying in advance to find allies in Trump's team (and not only Kouchner), who would have seized upon these proposals.
The allies of the Chinese, in addition to Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, were many representatives of American business working in China and with China. Large companies have long been unhappy with the working conditions in the PRC and since the days of Bill Clinton have tried to use the administration to put pressure on Beijing to create equal conditions for competition in the Chinese market. During Obama's time, business was actively involved in writing an agreement to create Transpacific partnership and is still extremely disappointed that Trump refused this idea. Despite this attitude, from Sinofobic The views of presidential adviser Peter Navarro, who headed the National Council on Trade, big business in horror, and therefore the last two months has been conducting a skilful hardware struggle against it.
The main ally of businessmen inside the White House was Kenneth Dzhaster, who took the post of deputy head of the National Council of Economics and Assistant to the President of Trump on international economic issues. Juster is one of the most experienced Republican specialists in international trade, he worked in business for many years, and during the time of Bush Sr. (they know him in Russia because he initially oversaw economic assistance to post-Soviet countries after the collapse of the USSR) and Bush Sr. served in the State Department and Deputy Minister of Commerce. On the background, Juster is not a Sinologist, but he has long been interested in Asia - at Harvard, he studied under one of the stars of American synology, Professor Ezra Vogel, and then for many years was a board member of the Asia Society. In addition, many Sinologists of the Reagan and Bush epoch are in his closest circle, with whom he constantly consults.
Inside the White House, Juster was able to build a coalition that opposed Navarro and Bannon in China, primarily on the introduction of the 45% tariff and the announcement of the PRC as a currency manipulator. Pretty soon, they dragged the entire economic team of the president, as well as Kushner and Tillerson, to their side, convincing them that the reason for the $ 300 billionth trade deficit with China now is not the undervalued yuan, and therefore the measures proposed by Navarro not only fail to correct the situation, but and prevent America from being great again. For people who are friends with numbers and economics, it was easy to do - given that even irreconcilable opponents among celebrity experts in the Chinese economy, such as Michael pattis и Huang Yukon, on this issue unexpectedly coincide.
Now the Chinese negotiators in Mar-o-Lago are left to use these arguments, and at the same time to present Trump as a gift to several large Projects, which will help create jobs, including the American outback voted for Trump. The Chinese, according to diplomats, have prepared a fairly large list of such projects - what is now called tweetable results in Washington. On more complex issues of trade and macroeconomic policy, C has several home-made items, the essence of which is reduced to the promise to continue the market reforms that it proclaimed in November of the year 2013, and take into account the interests of foreign companies - as well as to responsible world leaders.
Do not panic
A sudden joker for the team of Donald Trump was a missile attack on the Syrian air base, which the Americans inflicted that night. Showing himself as a tough guy, Trump can now try to use this reputation to convince the Chinese leader that he, for example, will not stop before the blow and over North Korea if Beijing does not actively help solve the Korean nuclear problem. However, the Chinese know perfectly well that in the North Korean case, the US will not take risky actions - the tactical conditions are too different, and to increase the pressure on Pyongyang after Kim Jong-Nam's assassination, Beijing was just going to, only to submit these and so planned steps as a result of Trump's negotiating genius , to amuse his ego.
In Xi Jinping, an impulsive demonstration of force is unlikely to make an impression, especially given that no Chinese interests, unlike Russian ones, have been affected by the blow to Syria. On the contrary, a decisive and technically militant action, which does not cost a long-term strategy, will only confirm the emotionality and impulsiveness of its counterpart - like the call to Taiwan by Tsai Inven, whose results ultimately proved even negative for the American side. In this situation, the calm and methodical work of an organized team, focusing on a long-term result, is the best counteraction. This weapon in the Chinese foreign policy arsenal is much more than the "Tomahawks" of Americans.
Published on the portal carnegie.ru