Person of the year has “the pique of an American Kim Jong Un”

Unsurprisingly Time has named Donald Trump as their ‘Person of the Year’. Trump has dominated politics in the US and has piqued substantial interest around the world.

But after upsetting China over contact with Taiwan and then reacting to raised Chines eyebrows with a Twitter storm Trump has been described  as “thin-skinned and reacts to criticism with the pique of an American Kim Jong Un”.

The world is watching with anticipation and quite a bit of trepidation.

David Ignatius writes Trump flunks his first foreign policy test.

Devising a wise strategy for challenging China’s ascendancy in Asia is arguably the top foreign policy task for a new president. But if Trump planned to take a tougher stance, this was a haphazard way to do it. The president-elect instead stumbled into a pre-inaugural foreign flap, insulting Beijing and causing it to lose face.

Worse, Trump’s fulminations about China come just as his plan to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership is undermining the United States’ standing with allies in Asia. Trump, in effect, is ceding economic ground to China at the very moment he claims to be taking a harder line.

Trump’s phone call Friday with Taiwan’s president needn’t have created this crisis. The Chinese at first seemed willing to give the inexperienced Trump a pass — blaming the precedent-altering call on “petty” maneuvering by Taipei. Beijing presumably recognized that this wasn’t the time to pick a fight, and Trump should have adopted the same stance.

But Trump, evidently feeling cornered, doubled down. He unleashed a Twitter storm about China’s currency manipulation (a largely bogus charge he repeated through the campaign) and its aggressive actions in the South China Sea (a real problem requiring strong, steady U.S. leadership). An embarrassed China is sure to take countermeasures, which will further confound U.S. policy.

The episode reinforced two points about Trump: He loves to be flattered by calls from foreign leaders (including “presidents” of countries the United States doesn’t recognize). And he’s thin-skinned and reacts to criticism with the pique of an American Kim Jong Un.

Perhaps Trump and his advisers will learn from his mistakes.

Or perhaps he doesn’t care – or it could even be a deliberate strategy.

Superpower relations will be put to an unprecedented test over the next few years. It’s high risk – Trump’s approach could force positive changes, but he is more likely to increase tensions and is at serious risk of precipitating some major problems.

I hope like hell that things don’t go nuclear, but even if that is avoided a lot of damage can be done with ‘conventional’ weapons, and financial crashes.

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37 Comments

  1. Corky

     /  8th December 2016

    What interesting political times. Once in lifetime for most of us.

    Reply
  2. Dave K

     /  8th December 2016

    or maybe it wasn’t stupid at all. I’d say follow the progressive narrative of calling Trump names and underestimating him at your peril….

    https://geopoliticalfutures.com/trump-taiwan-and-an-uproar/

    Reply
    • Kevin

       /  8th December 2016

      Smartest guy in the room.

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  8th December 2016

        maybe not.The poison pill defence has huge implications for international finance and the U.S dollar as default currency for trade.

        Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  8th December 2016

        If he’s the cleverest man in the room, the others must be real fools.

        He won’t learn from his mistakes, as people like him never make any-in their own estimation.

        Reply
    • Joe Bloggs

       /  8th December 2016

      Or maybe someone is trying to spin gold out of straw by reinterpreting Trump’s political naivety as deep acumen.

      Take a big dose of Occam’s Razor, Dave. Trump’s just wheedling, bullying, threatening, and lying his arse off as he blunders from one tweet to the next, while his ‘handlers’ scramble to put a positive spin on each new lie he utters.

      Reply
  3. Shock horror he stood up to the Chinese who are subverting the China Sea and turning the islands into military bases.

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  8th December 2016

      What Sea was that again?

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  8th December 2016

        China and the South China Sea-what an old story, It’s been around since long before DT made this revelation.He hasn’t ‘stood up to China’-all he’s done is make stupid remarks about the country.

        Reply
  4. Gezza

     /  8th December 2016

    Xi calls Trump “foreigner” on Twitter, and follows up with “orange panda”, and ” loser”.

    Reply
  5. Alan Wilkinson

     /  8th December 2016

    Quoting the Washington Post on Trump is like quoting the Standard on Key – you can do it for laughs but taking their journalism seriously is idiotic.

    Trump has had several conversations with Henry Kissinger who knows rather more about managing relations with China than most and the Taiwan move was planned carefully and skillfully well in advance. He is letting China know that America is back in business as a super power that doesn’t need China’s approval for what it does.

    Reply
  6. Kitty Catkin

     /  8th December 2016

    It was Christmas Day in the White House,
    And Trumpo smugly called
    ‘What do you think of it so far ?’
    And the voters answered ‘Balls !’

    ‘You’ve broken half your promises,
    The things we voted for-
    It looks as if you’re going
    To break a whole lot more !’

    That angered Mr Trumpo,
    And he swore by all his dough,
    That there would be no wall at all
    And tax cut plans would go.
    He wouldn’t go for Hillary
    And prosecute her now
    Despite the cries of ‘Lock Her Up !’
    In answer to his vow.

    Then up spoke an angry voter
    With a face as bold as brass,
    ‘You can can keep your broken promises
    And stick them up your arse.’

    ‘Ha ha, tough titty, suckers !’
    The orange utang cries.
    He gives them all the finger
    And farts right in their eyes.

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  8th December 2016

      That’s coarse of course. You can curse till you’re hoarse, but Time finishes with this:

      It’s a country where many who felt powerless have a new champion, where much frustration has given way to excitement and where politics has become the greatest show on earth. Here men in combat helmets and military assault rifles now patrol the streets outside a golden residential tower in midtown Manhattan. And almost every day at about the same time they let pass a street performer who wears no pants, tight white underwear and cowboy boots, so he can sing a song in the lobby for the television cameras with Trump’s name written in red and blue on his butt. It’s an America of renewed hope and paralyzing fear, a country few expected less than a year ago. Because of Donald John Trump, whatever happens next, it will never be like it was before.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  8th December 2016

        Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  8th December 2016

        That’s what is worrying people. I have heard that his voters are unimpressed (!) that he is sweeping aside all his promises. He was going to give the establishment a lesson-before he took establishment people on as advisers. He was going to prosecute Hillary Clinton. Now he’s not. He was going to build a huge wall, not fencing….now it’s going to be fencing. Muslims were going to be registered. Now they are not. He was going to reintroduce waterboarding.It goes on and on. The fact that there are men with assault rifles in Manhattan doesn’t say much for his popularity. If a man with Trump’s name on his bare bum makes the news every day, that is seriously bizarre. Anyone like that is probably certifiable, and I would worry that he will take umbrage at his hero not being appreciative enough and….

        I think that the ‘excitement’ will soon give way to rage, if it hasn’t done so already. He’d better be wearing a bullet-proof garment-but as someone said of Gadaffi, you can’t bullet-proof your head.

        One of his advisers is on record saying that it’s fun to shoot people.

        This is the man who said that he would consider nuking Europe.

        Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  8th December 2016

        It’s nothing like as coarse as DJT’s comments about people-usually about women. Anyone who knows Yiddish knows what a schlong is and it’s a gross indecency in the context in which he used it. His remarks about a woman having her period and other women being bitches (on heat) and how he wanted to fuck (his word) a married woman, how women’s ‘pussies’ were to be grabbed because he was a star….anyone who said those things here would kiss their chances of election goodbye.

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  8th December 2016

          Entertainer in Chief, Kitty.

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  8th December 2016

            I don’t find that entertaining, and nor does any other woman I know. Would you like to hear someone saying those things about your wife or daughter ?

            Were you affected by the power cuts ? I wouldn’t like to be the person who did it if they are caught.

            Reply
  7. David

     /  8th December 2016

    For how long will silly people keep underestimating Trump for, its been a constant theme even when faced with the glaringly obvious fact that despite all the hand wringing the guy keeps winning.
    I am with Alan on this one, Trump is signalling that the reset that he campaigned on will be followed through and he is a businessman so negotiating (as Boeing learned this week) is going to be without the diplomatic niceties so expect to be punched in the nose if you failed to get the message.
    And China gets this even if the alt left washington post doesnt.

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  8th December 2016

      For ever, David, just as they did with Key. And obviously both have roughly double the IQ of their demented critics.

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  8th December 2016

        Key did very little in 8 years.Trump is President elect,so you are premature in any comparisons Al.

        Reply
        • David

           /  8th December 2016

          Despite Quakes, GFC he changed the tax system, reformed welfare, improved the health system hugely, back to surplus, settled most treaty claims, improved NZs standing overseas, as tourism minister made it our biggest export earner, introduced a carbon market, signed the Paris agreement and the UN rights for indigenous people, reformed the sexist accesion rules for our royal family, deepened our trading relationship with China, insulated every state house and 250,000 other homes, increased the benefit levels, hosted a very succesful RWC…seriously Blazer remove the blinkers he is Helen Clark without the bitterness.

          Reply
    • MaureenW

       /  8th December 2016

      Agree David, you only had to watch him literally obliterate those he came up against in the primaries, and against Hillary in the debates, and have a look at him at the Al Smith Dinner after the 3rd debate roasting Hillary (again), its priceless.

      Reply
      • MaureenW

         /  8th December 2016

        It’s here if you haven’t seen it …

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  8th December 2016

          Never mind Trump. Check out the lady in red.

          Reply
          • MaureenW

             /  8th December 2016

            She looks Sophia Loren (ish).
            Watch the guy on the right’s face, when Trump says Clinton is so corrupt she was kicked off the Watergate Commission …

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  8th December 2016

              You’re right! I never looked at her face last time.
              That dinner was “awkward”. 😖

            • MaureenW

               /  8th December 2016

              I thought it was great! I’m pleased to see someone finally cutting through the PC BS and staying on message.

            • Klik Bate

               /  8th December 2016

              ‘The lady in red’……Maria Bartiromo, Fox Business.
              Catch her on CH91 most nights.

              Check out what she had for lunch today 😮

  8. I guess Time needs to be told about the true meaning of pique. The Middle French meaning was “Lance” (liong thin weapon carried by for exampleThe Lancers) but as a verb it means”when something piques your interest or curiosity, here the verb pique just means to arouse, stimulate, or excite. So now you know why both Kim and Trump are married to very fetching wives. I do think though that Time did not really mean that.

    Reply

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