The upcoming Xi – Trump meeting is the first face-to-face sit down between the two leaders. The US side has been clear about what it wants from China, but it’s not quite as clear what it plans on offering. Don’t get distracted by the background noise like Tillerson’s visit or uninformed “princeling” gossip. This is all about the relationship between 2 leaders.
The Trump story is entitled “Make America Great Again” – but the plot is a muddle of victimhood (China is bullying America) and bravado (unilateral action on North Korea). Xi Jinping’s narrative is “The Chinese Dream” which juxtaposes a need for global respect with insistence on non-confrontation – all wrapped around one of the largest projections of power since the early Ming (OBOR, 9 Dash Line).