President Trump has simply outwitted and outmatched Chairman Xi in this economic confrontation. While Xi thought he was outmaneuvering his rival, it was President Trump who was the one wearing the Panda mask all along.
In hindsight every move since early 2017 including: (1) the warm welcome of Chairman Xi Jinping to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate; (2) the vociferous praise poured upon Xi; (3) the U.N. sanctions where China and Russia agreed; (4) the November 2017 “golden ticket’ tour of Asia; (5) the direct engagement with North Korean Chairman Kim Jong Un; (6) the strategic relationship with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe; and a host of smaller nuanced moves were all quietly building toward this conclusion.
For President Trump to have navigated Chairman Xi into such a position is the pinnacle of strategic success. The Chinese culture doesn’t even have a frame of reference for a position that includes ‘less losing’ as their better option.