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Trump’s reversal on China, explained: He was right to do it

Trump will be savaged by the war hawks but he did exactly the right thing

(NationalSentinel) Shortly after Donald J. Trump was elected 45th president of the United States, he received a congratulatory phone call from the president of Taiwan, Tsai Ing-wen. Trump accepted her call, as he accepted congratulations from many world leaders.

But in talking with Tsai, Trump allegedly committed a diplomatic faux pas: For decades, the U.S. has followed a “One China” policy, that is, the U.S. has accepted China’s assertion that Taiwan is an autonomous region that is really just a province of the mainland, even though Taiwan has been its own nation since the Communists chased the ruling Nationalists off the mainland in 1949.

In accepting the call from Tsai, Trump appeared to be putting into practice his questioning of the One China policy during the presidential campaign, when he regularly accused Beijing of currency manipulation and other unfair trading practices that have resulted successive U.S. trade deficits in the hundreds of billions of dollars for years.

This faux pas only exacerbated tensions with Beijing that began in earnest with the Obama administration, which offered only tepid responses to China’s building and arming of man-made islands in international waters in the South China Sea, which Beijing claims all for itself.

For months Trump did not apologize for accepting Tsai’s phone call, nor did he apologize for the diplomatic ‘violation’ of the One China policy. Before he even got settled into the White House, it appeared as though the new president had already placed the U.S. on a collision course with the Asian economic giant.

Then, suddenly last week, something happened: Trump appeared to capitulate – sell out, as some of his opponents have said – to Beijing. The White House dispatched officials to the Chinese embassy in Washington, D.C., with a letter from the president acknowledging existing U.S. policy. Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping got on the phone and talked. Both sides have said the call was productive and fruitful.

Tensions eased. Crisis averted, for now anyway. But did Trump really “cave” to the Chinese, or did he just do precisely the right thing at the right time and what needed to be done in the best interests of both countries?

Dr. Steve Pieczenik, a long time covert operations and regime change expert, in an interview with Alex Jones, said he believes China has many more internal problems that most people are aware. And he does not believe Xi has a handle on the country’s deeply embedded economic problems.

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“Xi…really can’t handle the economy, which is totally messed up,” Pieczenik said. “There’s a huge outflow of cash that’s going into the United States and elsewhere. He has a major devaluation of the yuan (China’s currency). He has companies that are so corrupt that they’re making up numbers for the bonds that they’re selling in the trillions of dollars. And he has political unrest.”

He said what that all means for the U.S. is that “we’re not going to war, we simply have to stabilize, and help [Xi] to stabilize his government before he thinks that an external war can help him out.”

He added: “The truth of the matter is that China is both economically and politically fragile. They have no water. They have to depend on the Himalayas and the water that goes into India. If there’s going to be a war, my prediction would be a war between India and China over water rights.”

Based on this assessment, the Trump administration’s efforts to patch things up with China are exactly the right play at the right time, not a “sell-out.” If Trump is anything, he is pragmatic: For an eternity, leaders with a myriad of internal problems have used war as a means of rallying their people to a cause and making them forget about the problems. The last time the United States backed an Asian power into a corner, Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and World War II for America began.

Trump’s political enemies will look for any opportunity to harass, harangue and delegitimize him, and his rapprochement with China is being turned into just such an opportunity.

But knowing what we know about history, China’s current internal instability is not something to be exploited, but rather, stabilized, just as Pieczenik suggests. It appears that is the path President Trump has opted to take. That won’t appease the war hawks – and they will make themselves known because it is they who be complaining the loudest. But it is clearly the right decision, for the good of the American and Chinese people.

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