While the sycophant and pile-on press are predicting a “difficult” meeting today between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Donald Trump, the facts suggest the opposite.
America suffers from being a bunch of phony sinophiles. Including most reporters.
Sure, business students consider The Art of War a must-read book. But a tiny fraction of those will go on to read the companion “36-strategies.”
While Art of War is strategic in its perspective, 36 Strategies is six groups of six-tactics each – very much as one would use the Stonewall Attack or the Sicilian Defense in chess. It’s all in the study of “moves with names.”
Before we go strategy shopping, as I’m sure the real deal-maker advisors have, let’s review some Chinese history:
Chinese media assert that the China has been “invaded by the [box-headed] North Koreans 127-times in the past 2,000 years.”
Much skepticism of the Trump-Xi meetings has been fanned by embedded holdovers from the previous administration.
Trump pictures himself a “man of deals.” In contrast, practitioners of the “art of statecraft” have a remarkable record of non-achievement.
Thus, we see Trump’s core “deal team” more heavily weighted with those able to immediately implement trade – and military – policy. Missing are protocol dilatants and deal-killers.
Some “old line” diplomats – who wouldn’t have careers without perpetual conflict – would be understandably skeptical. But we think times have changed.
We understand that there is a steady outflow of old-line players at the State Department underway. One not getting much press, but Secretary of State Tillerson is used to an electronically-leveled org chart and nearly instant responsiveness.
Foggy Bottom has, in many regards, run on its own inertia. And what about the remaining neocons? In time…
Once you wrap your head around the “invasions” suffered by the Chinese as the hands of North Koreans over the centuries, Trump’s position improves.
Dating back to the Hahn and Tong Dynasties, it helps develop an appreciation for what China has become.
It is The New Dynasty.
This is not to argue it isn’t communist to its core; it most certainly is. Learning Party precepts is the short road to the top, no question.
But unlike American-style politics, the Chinese have a history of civil service and there is competitive testing. More emphasis on test scores, less “affirmative action.”
There, more so than here, smart people make it to the top in government faster.
Which of the 36 Strategies?
There are two major deals on the table today, so let’s take them in turn.
Trade is likely the smaller of the agenda items today, although it will be linked – in negotiations – with the North Korean problem.
Trade is the opening discussion point.
We can see how Trump continues to taunt those who don’t understand his style. He has deftly used the “Feign madness but keep your balance” approach both in his tweets and overall. He has a direct – media-free – backchannel to the American voting base.
Alternatively, Trump may be using “Stomp the grass to scare the snake” talking tough on trade to rattle the Chinese into thinking he could be serious about trade if they don’t “make the North Korea problem go away...”
Very often, Trump critics fail to grasp that in order to build real estate empires, you not only need a crystal-clear vision of the future, but in addition, you have to put a LOT of your own money on that future showing up. If that’s madness to your way of thinking, you may be suffering from the anti-Trump brainwashing of the radical left. Trump is expert at cost-effectively “buying a future.”
Since trade talk will involve some subtle moves on Trump’s part, we would expect him to open with a variant of “Point at the mulberry tree while cursing the locust tree.”
This may work out well because chaining strategies is acceptable. Eventually, you get your opponent to one where you have a plan to win, or an acceptable deal to cut. Then you “move in for the close.”
The North Korea part of the discussions will be more difficult because the U.S. remains still “at war” with North Korea. Remember, the killing of the Korean War ended with an Armistice, not a peace treaty.
As we have previously reminded, North Korea is likely inside the 9-month window of having a strategic weapon (missile) able to reach the U.S. It looks to be a liquid-fueled rocket, similar to the Cold War Atlas series.
50-year old tech can still kill and a megaton air burst would still kill millions.
The drawback to the old liquid fueled missiles is they require hours upon hours to fill.
During the Cold War, the US evolved technology for 20-minute fueling and launching, but that is high-tech the NK’s may not have arrived at, although it’s largely in the public domain. Just a hell of a lot of work.
North Koreans have had more than half a century to dig tunnels which makes detection difficult. Except, we would point to our earlier discussions of HAARP and its potential use as radio tomography for underground “resource” mapping.
Closer in, their solid-fueled rockets are more problematic and made more so by technology transfers to Iran.
Also remember that NY Times report we pointed out earlier this week revealing the NK’s are well-past sufficiency with lithium and they are willing to sell 22 pounds of the material every few months.
The buyers would be terrorists.
It’s not unreasonable to label North Korea as a direct threat to world peace. It is also a promoter and arms dealer of high order. Doubtless, the Trump administration will hold a similar view because the facts support it.
Simply put, the U.S. will never be allowed to realize their ICBM fusion bomb delivery goals. The U.S. will have to attack first.
The problem from such an attack is negotiating China’s response in advance if they won’t do our “dirty work” for us.
But here’s where the media has again failed America: There is a way for the U.S. and China to come to terms using another of the 35-strategies:
When the enemy is too strong to be attacked directly, then attack something he holds dear. Know that he cannot be superior in all things. Somewhere there is a gap in the armor, a weakness that can be attacked instead. The idea here is to avoid a head-on battle with a strong enemy, and instead strike at his weakness elsewhere. This will force the strong enemy to retreat in order to support his weakness. Battling against the now tired and low-morale enemy will give a much higher chance of success.”
Please consider China the “borrowed sword.”
While we may not see a grand announcement, there is very little doubt in my mind that Trump will be offering to soften on trade – a good bit even – if our main retail supplier would faithfully play the role of “borrowed sword.”
Done right, it changes the world for the better. Done wrong, we see flash-bangs by Christmas, or thereabouts.
I apologize for turning this into a Peoplenomics-type discussion. But we dared not reveal the context until the “day of” in order that the “feign madness” or “stomp the grass” can work to full effect.
We will watch with interest to see how well Xi and Trump posture on this.
While the NY Times today is asking “How Long will the Cordiality Last,” I see that a more proper question is “Will China kill as our borrowed knife” if we make acceptable concessions elsewhere?”
Trade rhetoric could be dialed back. Recognizing Chinese hegemony in the South China Sea might be ancillary.
By the way, notice that the Philippines are planning to occupy all disputed islands now…another potential bump in the road.
It’s clear as a bottom line that Trump wants a deal. So does China.
No more neocons or “deal-killers” from State required.
While the Associated Press refers to the US as a “wild card on trade” we insist that China could be our “borrowed sword.”
Former Breitbart exec Stephen Bannon and his reassigned off the National Security Council.
In the Back Ring
When democrats suspended rules to jam through an appointment in the past, it was acceptable. Now it’s painted and historic denial by the dems.
Short memories and more useless political BS. The dems engineered the very changes they now hate.
Challenger Job Cuts Increased In March
Press Release due jour:
“Job cuts announced by US-based employers rose 17 percent from the February total of 36,957 to 43,310 in March, according to the latest report on monthly job cuts released Thursday by global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.
March announcements are 2 percent lower than the same month last year, when employers announced plans to eliminate 44,207 jobs from their ranks. Last month’s total is the third consecutive month of lower job cuts than the corresponding month a year earlier.
So far this year, employers have announced 126,201 job cuts. Last quarter’s total was 38 percent higher than the 91,303 cuts announced in the fourth quarter of 2016, and 30 percent lower than the same period last year when 180,920 cuts were announced.
Market futures are set for a bounce – but not much of one.
Labor Department job data in tomorrow’s column… More coffee?