China strong enough to cope with Trump victory

Source:Global Times Published: 2016/11/9 18:58:39 Last Updated: 2016/11/10 15:58:39

Donald Trump has been elected the next US president, a result that shocked the whole world.

The election also marks Hillary Clinton's second defeat. In 2008, she lost as an individual. But this time, she represented the political establishment. Trump won not only over Clinton but also major elite groups, from within the Republican Party to the whole of America who once rejected him.

Some say the election is a "political revolt," and a US-style "Cultural Revolution." Though exaggerated, these labels somewhat reflect the current US political landscape.

Though Trump has long been a global figure, neither the US nor the world is ready for his presidency. For a long time, most people believed Clinton was likely to win and Trump's crazy election campaign would end at any time.

Trump's win has dealt a heavy blow to the heart of US politics. At the very beginning, he was despised by mainstream US media. He was known for being a blowhard and an egomaniac. But if such a person can be president, there is something wrong with the existing political order.

The mainstream values of both the Democratic and Republican parties have lost touch with the times. The media violated the principle of remaining a neutral and objective voice. It misled the electorate with fraudulent polling practices. As a result, the divide between the classes is larger than ever.

No matter how Trump changes US domestic and foreign policy, it won't compare with the shock brought on by his victory. He probably will not make any drastic changes in the short-term, and it is highly likely that he will not live up to his campaign promises. He is not as bold enough to really change the country.

In an elite-controlled US, most of those holding power don't support Trump. And US allies across the world will pressure Washington to restrain Trump from isolationism.

The election has divided US society. On an emotional level, many Americans will not accept Trump as their president. We are unlikely to see a socially unified US  post-election.

But the most uncertainty lies in Trump's foreign policy. The future of the China-US relationship and Russia-US ties will have a strong effect on the overall international community. Trump campaigned heavily for a focused return to US economic interests, something that might turn Sino-US relations from a geopolitical rivalry to an economic conflict.

The new president lacks diplomatic experience. His much touted business experience will in some form penetrate future US foreign policy. In turn, Sino-US relations may see dramatic renegotiations, including sharpened conflicts of interests.

Trump may be more interested in the new type of China-US relations than outgoing President Barack Obama, who was deeply influenced by Clinton. Trump may not be as strongly adverse to a "win-win" scenario with China as the previous US political establishment. Trump may have to cater to US elite groups, and  he will try to be "tough enough" on China all the same.

The future trajectory of Sino-US relations should not be determined by his character. China needs to safeguard its interests with its own strength. If Trump wants to target bilateral trade, he should first weigh the consequences of China's countermeasures.

The election will have a long-term impact on the US, as well as the world. But China is one of the quickest countries to adapt. China is able to cope with the leadership change of the US.

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