Trump in China: when politics is stronger than hate
After a presidential campaign where Donald Trump demonized China and blamed it for unemployment in the United States, his visit to Xi Jinping shows that there is no room for feelings in business.
Nobody said that being president would be easy; much less than once in the White House, Donald Trump would have to bite his tongue and smile before the cameras for the good of the country and his pocket.
As part of his rhetoric to win votes, Trump focused his anger on China and on its leader, Xi Jinping, with whom he now appears smiling in pictures, sharing as a family, as if they had known each other for years.
"Chinese policies harm the American economy," said the then-candidate. "I am going to wage a diplomatic battle to prevent the expansion of China."
This is how the newspaper El Clarín recalls the campaign, highlighting that, "the real estate tycoon convinced his voters that the weakness of the previous US presidents in front of their Chinese counterpart explained a good part of Washington's decline".
The excuse was that Beijing was "the biggest currency manipulator in the world" and even boasted with promises to raise rates on China's assets or support the cause of Taiwan to undermine the strength of the Asian giant.
But the Chinese knew more about politics then they assured through their media that "the millionaire proves to be as ignorant as a child in matters of foreign policy".
And the nonsense was always there: "The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive," Trump wrote on Twitter in 2012, when he was still a television figure that few people paid attention to.
His victory in the primaries only accentuated his speech.
Political work and true interests disarmed that discourse at the drop of a hat.
After his first meeting as counterparts in April this year, Trump seemed to retrace his steps and assured the Wall Street Journal that "(China) is not a currency manipulator." Given the criticism, the president said he had not changed his position, but insisted that China should help in talks with North Korea.
On Thursday, and during his official visit to Beijing, both presidents held two-hour talks, and Trump said he "doesn’t blame China for taking advantage of the differences between the way the two countries do business," CNN reported.
"After all, who can blame a country for taking advantage of another country for the benefit of its citizens?" Said the US president.
His accusing finger was diverted to the governments that preceded him, and the cameras showed two friendly and smiling governors.
So much so, that he assured coming back to the United States with "250,000 million in agreements between US companies and China", something he did not detail and that several sources say it had been in discussions since before Trump was elected, according to the report.
In one way or another, China continues to take advantage of American weaknesses - in terms of environmental policies, technological advancement and intellectual property - and President Trump must have understood that, in a country with a history that goes back to 2200 years before Christ, the verbiage won’t work, and it is better to smile and greet.