My estimation of President Trump went up after I read the excerpts published in the Wall Street Journal (I won’t buy the book). Trump is flexible, pragmatic, unpredictable, effusive, and committed to fulfilling the promises he made to the voters in 2016. He doesn’t think it’s his job to change China’s often-repugnant domestic policies. He’s for America First, and I applaud him for it.
Shame on John Bolton for throwing a tantrum at a boss who fired him for being a rigid ideologue. Among other reasons, Trump fired Bolton because he wanted a Phase One trade deal that would help the U.S. economy. That’s still the administration’s position, as Trade Rep Lighthizer said on June 4.
Keeping the upper hand against China means playing long ball: Maintaining (or in many cases regaining) a decisive edge in military technology, building our own answer to Huawei’s presently-superior 5G mobile broadband equipment, winning the race to quantum computing, staying in the top spot in artificial intelligence and its applications. Bolton wants to wave a red flag in front of the bull, for example, by stationing U.S. troops in Taiwan. Sounds tough, but we don’t want a war with China in the South China Sea just now.