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Thursday, 10 September 2020 11:21

Trump's election hopes are pinned on China-bashing

Trump's election hopes are pinned on China-bashing Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

Tomorrow, or any time before 3 November, if the lowliest member of the Chinese military makes a misstep and gives him an excuse to go to war, US President Donald Trump is unlikely to hesitate, seeing as he has made the demonisation of Beijing his main strategy to win another four years in the White House.

Much in the same way that the late Margaret Thatcher sent the might of the British armed forces to attack Argentina in 1982 — after the latter had the affront to take possession of the Falkland Islands, a windswept area that was home to more penguins than humans — and boosted her standing in the polls enabling her to win the next election, Trump is on a nerve-edge, waiting for any chance to explode.

The US president's strategy during his first tilt at the White House in 2016 has a strange tale behind it; this is the version advanced by American documentary filmmaker Michael Moore. According to him, Trump announced his bid for the most powerful post in the world in 2015 simply to try and raise his ratings so that he would be paid more by NBC for his role in The Apprentice.

It appears that singer Gwen Stefani was being paid more than Trump by NBC, for being a coach on The Voice and the florid-faced one was unhappy with this. But his strategy did not work out as he expected; after a few days of hearing racial slights against Mexicans and others, the NBC bosses sacked Trump.

At this point, as Moore tells it, Trump was inclined to give up and go home. But he was apparently persuaded by his sons to appear at two rallies which had already been paid for. Those rallies were blockbuster events and once Trump had appeared at them and seen how popular he was, he decided to keep on. We all know what happened after that.

This time, Trump's strategy has been to paint China as the source of all evil. Many of his moves have been reckless and cost the US much more than China. But he hates losing and will pull out all stops to win.

If Trump wins, I tend to think that he will take a much milder stance on China. And this would be for just one reason: he does not plan to get out of business after another four years in power. And if he is in business, then he would have to take China into account.

Chinese President Xi Jinping understands this. That's why he has not indulged in any major reprisals against the US, despite being goaded endlessly by the relentless Trump over the last three years or so.

Trump's only interests in life are his own interests. Those who have followed his time in power will recall the time he did a complete volte face and pardoned the Chinese telecommunications firm, ZTE, which had just been banned from doing business in America.

But one thing on which Trump will not back down is the ban on Google doing business with Huawei. As to the reason why, take a look here.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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