Trump, Xi = Win, Win

Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping will be having dinner this weekend to talk about trade. There has been a lot of speculation about the outcome, but one thing is for certain. Both will declare a win.

Xi has several things going for him. One is that his country makes many of the things Trump’s country needs and has no other supplier for. Also, he’s a better negotiator than Trump. Finally, Xi knows that Trump can be bought off by making nice to his family business, Trump Inc.

That is not to say that Xi won’t give Trump a tidbit he can use to declare victory. In fact, that’s a very likely scenario. The Chinese culture understands the value of saving face.

But once the outcome of their meeting is analyzed, it will probably be clear that Trump didn’t get much. Outcome analysis is another Xi advantage. He has the Chinese state press to sell a biased but thoughtful analysis of how he won to his country.

Thoughtful analysis is not Trump’s specialty. Slogans and tweets are his communication style. He’ll have plenty after the meeting, all designed to forestall any detailed analysis. Because if you think about it, thinking about it generally doesn’t work in Trump’s favor.

Trump’s Brown-Nosing Fails

Donald Trump went to China last month and sucked up royally to Chinese leader Xi Jinping. Trump called China out on all sorts of things during the campaign and after he became president. But once he got mano a mano with Xi, he was all brown-nose.

Trump probably thought that though force of personality he could cut a deal with Xi on trade and the North Koreans. But at least with respect to the latter, this week was a massive fail. North Korea tested its most powerful missile yet and Trump could only whine about the Chinese response.

It looks like the self-proclaimed master of the art of the deal got totally snookered by the Chinese. But who could expect the Chinese to take Trump seriously, when even his own secretary of state thinks he’s a moron?