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Xi to Face World Tired of Empty Promises at Big China Trade Fair

By Bloomberg

After Donald Trump won the U.S. presidency with a pledge to put “America First,” Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping quickly moved to present himself as a champion of globalizationRead full story

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  • As Americans I don’t know that most of us appreciate the pressure Xi is under to deliver, or why. It’s predicated on a number of factors.

    Xi Jinping has placed himself within the pantheon of the CCP, right there with Mao and Deng. Xi fully controls the party, the PLA by extension, and the government. This mean that when something goes wrong, he cannot just find some patsy. He is accountable in all respects, and the trade war with the US is his to own.

    Since Xi came to power, he has been running

    As Americans I don’t know that most of us appreciate the pressure Xi is under to deliver, or why. It’s predicated on a number of factors.

    Xi Jinping has placed himself within the pantheon of the CCP, right there with Mao and Deng. Xi fully controls the party, the PLA by extension, and the government. This mean that when something goes wrong, he cannot just find some patsy. He is accountable in all respects, and the trade war with the US is his to own.

    Since Xi came to power, he has been running a so-called Anti-Corruption campaign that is well known by many to be a purge of his enemies in the party, PLA and government. Whereafter he installs new people loyal to him. With statistics provided by China’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, they claim to have netted over one million such figures. That is a stunning statistic. This purge is analogous in scope to what Stalin did to the CPSU and Red Army in the 1930’s. Xi by eliminating his enemies has both cemented his power while certainly creating new enemies, putting the target on his back personally. It is one of the many paradoxes of his power.

    There is no way the US trade war hasn’t harmed Xi’s standing and power base. Certainly not enough to mortally compromise him, but it’s a remarkably difficult position. Nor is it a particularly positive showing for Xi with so many companies and major trading nations/blocs only engaging in low level participation at this expo. If nothing else, the symbolism of that is noteworthy.

    The question then becomes what can Xi do to stop the immediate bleeding? Also what ultimately are the concessions Xi is willing to make in the long term? You’d have to imagine the first priority is to avoid escalation of the trade war because it can go much further than the current tariffs. While also making a deal he believes will enhance his own power, and end the standoff.

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