Trumped: What the Mar-a-lago summit revealed about the limits of Chinese power

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By Geostrategy-Direct

Chinese President Xi Jinping appears not only to have underestimated U.S. President Donald Trump, but also to have exposed Beijing’s weaknesses for the world to see.

From Sun Tzu’s playbook: U.S. Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Mar-a-Lago. / AP

Trump’s ordered missile strikes on a Syrian airbase on April 6 occurred while conducting a critical summit meeting with Xi at the U.S. president’s Mar-a-lago complex in Florida.

“Trump had every intention to give Xi a front seat to witness America’s military might and his own willingness to take swift and decisive actions alone,” said analyst Helen Raleigh.

Furthermore, “unlike President Obama, Trump made it loud and clear that he’s nobody’s pushover.”

“To kill a chicken to scare monkeys” is a famous Chinese military strategy, and is often attributed to one of the greatest military strategists who ever lived, Sun Tzu, author of the famous treatise, The Art of War, Raleigh noted in a column for

“This particular strategy is designed to send a message (often a warning) to powerful enemies by attacking a smaller, weaker power first. I don’t know if Trump, the author of The Art of The Deal, ever read The Art of War,” but the strike on Syria “clearly achieved a similar effect to this ancient strategy.”

Another sticking point in the Mar-a-Lago summit “is that no joint press conference (beside a photo opportunity) was held, no joint statement issued, and little of the normal congratulatory and laudatory statements normally conferred by heads of government on each other,” analyst Danny Lam wrote for Second Line of Defense Forum.

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