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Home / US Business / Strongmen rush to recreate world order while Trump faces a potential electoral defeat

Strongmen rush to recreate world order while Trump faces a potential electoral defeat



It's no coincidence that Putin and Xi have cemented the hold of precious goals, as the clock runs down on Trump's first, and possibly only, term.

Last week, in a constitutional revision referendum predicting that copies were for sale before the vote, Putin has actually been made president for life, as Xi has moved just as ruthlessly and taken control of Hong Kong through a new national security law, while asking US allies Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom to stay out of China's internal affairs.

  The riot police are seen in front of a burning roadblock during a protest against the new National Security Act on July 1[ads1], 2020, in Hong Kong.

Both seem to be of the opinion that the United States has neither the will nor the consistency to create resistance. Trump's White House actually gave evidence that just this week, wheezing for a consistent response to charges Russia paid the Taliban for killing US forces in Afghanistan. The Russian embassy in Washington and the Taliban have both denied the allegations.

As David Ignatius wrote in The Washington Post this week, Putin is in the payback business. He believes the US destroyed its former country, the Soviet Union. He likes the United States feeling pain. "He now has many more repayments for many years.

According to White House Deputy Secretary Sarah Matthews:" President Trump is a world-class negotiator who has consistently promoted US interests worldwide. "

Former senior US officials gave CNN the contributor Carl Bernstein gave a completely different impression, believing Trump "delusional" about his ability to bend other leaders to his agenda, believing he could "either charm, jab or bully almost any foreign leader to capitulate to his will."

  Voters are counted at a Moscow ballot on July 1, 2020, following a nationwide constitutional referendum.
  Cracks in Trump-Europe relationship become a cluster

Trump could have protested, resigned , forged a new US policy against Syria that would have shrunk Russia's growing influence in the Middle East. Instead, he bought the lie.

That would be a recurring theme. Trump's former national security adviser John Bolton remembers in his new book "The Room Where It Happened" Trump's meeting with Putin in Helsinki, Finland.

"Putin had to laugh comfortably at what he had gotten away with," Bolton writes after Trump accepted Putin's assurances there had been no Russian interference in the US campaign in 2016.

As fast forward to this year as Putin, with power for 20 years, needed a constitutional solution to last longer. He seems to calculate that despite tough US sanctions over his invasion of Ukraine, and the poisoning of exiled former agent Sergei Skripal in the UK, Trump will not push back for what he does at home.

He was right. He is now effective president for life, hoping to emulate Soviet leaders by just stepping into his grave.

Xi's experience with Trump has been different. He is entangled in a trade war, and has had to calculate Trump's real intention: on money, human rights issues, like the Uyghurs or Hong Kong, and simply stopping the emergence of the world's next superpower.

  Protesters hold five fingers up in Hong Kong to signal their five claims against the new national security law July 1, 2020.

At a big and raw business dinner in Beijing two years ago, I sat next to a former Chinese ambassador. The trade war was just beginning to increase, but tariffs on solar panels, washing machines, steel, soybeans and aluminum were already biting China's bottom line.

The diplomat, who had spent many years in Europe, told me very precise terms that Trump intentionally prevented China from taking its rightful place in the world as a high-tech advanced economy.

I can be sure what he wants to say now, as the Trump administration tries to persuade allies not to allow Huawei's 5G technology into their digital bloodstream.

But the Allies are less willing to say no, partly because of China's commercial power, but also because their relationship with the United States has frayed.

Just this week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who Bernstein's sources said was affected by Trump in phone calls, seemed to reject Trump's China tactics, saying "only together can the 27 EU countries have enough weight to achieve ambitious agreements with China. "

While Trump has applauded China for confronting China with its trade policy, commercial espionage and intellectual property theft, and its tactics are strongly criticized.

  Russian President Vladimir Putin extends a Victory Day military parade in Moscow, Russia, June 24, 2020.
In an analysis on Council on Foreign Relations, Robert Blackwill wrote: "Now the challenge for the President and his successors is to persuade Beijing, through improved US power projection, more skilled alliances and acquiring diplomacy, that the United States will grow ever stronger in Asia and will with its allies and friends robustly confront destabilizing Chinese actions. "

All this would have been in Xi's calculations about Trump, whether he is an existential threat to China's rise to become the world's superpower, or a prelude to a smarter opponent with same goal.

  Hong Kong protest leader Nathan Law promises to fight for democracy in exile after fleeing city

Xi appears to have hedged against the latter, chosen to act now against Hong Kong's deliberate pro-democracy movement and pushed the narrative that the West is behind it before it became a real thorn in his side.

Hong Kong's new national security law, announced in Beijing this week and immediately enforced on the streets of the territory, is a game changer. According to Britain, it violates the Sino-British Joint Declaration of One Country-Two System of 1984.

The question historians may discuss in the future is not whether Trump's presidency influenced Putin's and Xi's decisions, but how much his delusions changed the world to their advantage.


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