Opinion: Donald Trump, the false giant

Opinion: Donald Trump, the false giant


By far he said a lot and in Beijing he was soft. Trump’s first trip to Asia showed, above all, that the president of the United States. UU can hardly oppose the future world power in China, says Thomas Latschan.

That the president of China, Xi Jinping, read the German children’s books is something unlikely. But if he did, he would surely meet Mr. Tur Tur, a character in Michael Ende’s classic book “Jim Knopf.” This Mr. Tur Tur is a fictitious giant: the further away he is from one, the bigger and more threatening he seems. But the closer you get to him, the more he shrinks back to normal, until in the end he stands in front of you like an older man who no longer fears anyone more.

Only criticize from afar

From the perspective of the head of state of China, Donald Trump has a lot of this fake giant. This has remained in the eyes of the world, once again, after the recent Asian visit of the President of the United States. From a safe distance, whether at the APEC summit, in Vietnam or at the ASEAN summit in the Philippines, Trump attacked again, was against China’s commercial practices, as against “devaluation” artificial yuan “or” intellectual property mass theft “. He also threatened the Chinese with economic sanctions and tariff barriers.

However, the contrast with his state visit to China could not be greater. There, Donald Trump was suddenly domesticated, praised the Chinese president in the highest tones and was impressed by his power. Even, Trump temporarily changed his wallpaper on his Twitter account: he proudly showed for a while a picture next to Xi Jinping during his visit and effusively praised the welcome ceremony that his Chinese host gave him. Thus, Trump, the fictitious giant, became small.

So small that, in terms of global policy, it only looks beyond its own nose when jobs in the United States seem threatened. Even with Asia, EE. UU commanded by Trump lacks a clear strategy; especially his plans towards the “Indo-Pacific Nations” remain blurred.

Barack Obama’s “Pivot to Asia” policy was aimed at cornering China’s neighboring countries in terms of economic and security policy, thus limiting Beijing’s spheres of influence.The Trans-Pacific Free Trade Agreement (TPP) was an important element In this sense, Obama saw it primarily as an instrument of foreign policy, while Donald Trump feared the sale of the US economy and resigned.

Your annoying loyal allies

Japan, one of the most loyal allies, was punished by the US president on his trip to Asia for alleged unfair business practices. The government in Taiwan even shook during Trump’s visit to Beijing: President-elect Tsai asked the president of the United States not to mention his country at all in front of China, for fear that he would use the status of Taiwan as a negotiating element for an agreement between the United States and China in the North Korean conflict.

The old allies in the region react increasingly annoying. The Chinese, on the other hand, sell themselves as reliable partners and exploit the power vacuum left by the US. US: geopolitically, for example, by expanding naval bases in the South China Sea. An economic policy through massive investments along the “New Silk Road”, which reaches far in Europe. The development policy through the establishment and expansion of the “Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank” (AIIB), which provides huge loans for developing and emerging countries. And also cultural policy through the rapid development of more and more Confucius Institutes around the world. Unlike Trump, Xi Jinping pursues a clear global political strategy. And so, China’s rise to world power not only grows by its own strength, but also by the fact that Trump voluntarily renounces US leadership. UU in Asia and in the world. So the United States isolates itself more and more, and this, despite the fact that they still count for the foreseeable future with the greatest military power in the world.

In the election campaign, Donald Trump promised to make the United States “again great”. In terms of world politics, however, it transforms the former superpower more and more into a false giant.

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