American liberals, not the Chinese, take Trump as a chump
Published: Jul 02, 2017 11:43 PM

In a recent article titled "Trump is China's chump," New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman lashed out at US President Donald Trump for being "a sucker who's shrinking US influence in the [Asia-Pacific] region and helping make China great again." By withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Friedman argued, Trump abandoned the single most valuable tool the US had for shaping the geo-economic future of the region and to pressure China to open its market, a decision of such stupidity that "China's trade hard-liners are surely laughing in their sleeves."    

Have US voters really chosen such a despicable president?

Trump's decision to quit the TPP doesn't mean he will give a leg up to China. One of his reasons to scrap the deal is that he believes China could benefit "through the back door" from the TPP, as he stated during his presidential campaign. Besides, taking Americanism rather than globalism as the US' credo, Trump criticized the TPP for enticing companies to relocate factories in countries like Mexico.

Trump's policy is more pragmatic than his predecessor Barack Obama. He focuses overwhelmingly on domestic affairs to "make America great again." He began to express a positivity toward developing relations with China after gradually realizing warming China-US economic ties will help implement his "make America great again" agenda. However, in view of Trump's capricious remarks about trade toward China, the specter of a trade war cannot be dismissed.

China is cautiously exploring how to deal with such a pragmatic US president so as to realize win-win cooperation. He was never considered by the Chinese people as a chump. Rather, he is denigrated as a sucker by American liberals who believe he's unqualified to preside over the executive branch or US foreign policy. They called Trump's supporters a basket of deplorables and viewed normal commercial cooperation between China and Ivanka Trump's brand through a biased lens.

They are too ignorant in seeing Trump's withdrawal from the TPP as a handover of the world's leadership baton to China, which reveals they are deeply stuck in the mindset that China is an imaginary enemy and those harmful to the US are beneficial to China.   

Interestingly, the Chinese edition of Friedman's article has drawn a torrent of comments and refutations after it was re-posted on some public WeChat accounts. "Those who say Trump is a chump are the real chumps. They say so out of their demands to oppose Trump," said some Chinese WeChat users - they have sharp eyes.

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