Trump’s behavior in Beijing, China has many in the media pointing out that he appears to be much more muted, conciliatory, and flattering his tone, now that he’s in the same room with Chinese leaders on their turf. A bully often changes his or her tone when confronted by the real consequences of their behavior. Today, we have news that Trump allowed China, or perhaps agreed wholeheartedly, to deny reporters a chance to ask questions following two hours of talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday. After all, he’s not known to value accountability to journalists…
“It was at the Chinese insistence there were no questions today,” confirmed White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders
CNN initially reported that President Obama had allowed questions on his first trip to China, but corrected the story that Obama did not, on his first trip anyway. Bill Clinton and George W. Bush had convinced their Chinese counterparts to allow questions on their visits with a government that strictly censors the media.
Apparently, the Fox News crowd is saying Obama was treated with less favorability than Trump, which is just not true. See the Tweet below:
For those Trump Supporters who are saying that China Rolled the Red Carpet out for Trump, while Obama was made to exit out of the back of the plane, you need to stop watching @FOXNews! They rolled the RED CARPET out for @BarackObama too! He just DIDN'T BRAG ABOUT IT! pic.twitter.com/JNta88XDEo
— Ed Krassenstein (@EdKrassen) November 9, 2017
Trump’s agreement to deny questions may seem unusually compliant for a man who made his 2016 presidential campaign in large part about confronting unfair trade practices from China. He labeled China a “currency manipulator,” over and over, saying, “Nobody knows currency manipulation like China,” and “It’s cheating!” He promised he would direct his Secretary of the Treasury to label China as such. Later, Trump backtracked and told The Wall Street Journal that China was not a currency manipulator after all.
See a short compilation of his many remarks on the topic below. Then we’ll jump to his remarks to today!
Here is Trump’s comment today, which is certainly in total contrast, as if from a man who had used demagoguery his prime method of communication just to get elected:
“I don’t blame China,” Trump said during remarks to business leaders inside the Great Hall of the People. “After all, who can blame a country for being able to take advantage of another country for benefit of their citizens? I give China great credit.”
Trump shifted the blame from Beijing to previous presidents “for allowing this trade deficit to take place and to grow.”
Here is a comment on the matter from author and CNN political commentator, Keith Boykin:
When Obama was president:
1. Trump promised to call China a currency manipulator
2. Said China is "robbing us blind"
Today in China:
1. He said "I don't blame China"
2. Refused to call them currency manipulators
3. Bowed to "Chinese insistence" not to allow reporters' questions https://t.co/2Yzgyf7uCz
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) November 9, 2017
Amusingly, Trump tried to bolster his image as the best deal-maker in the world by announcing a $250 billion non-binding agreements between US companies and China that had been in the works “long before Trump was elected.” Notable companies involved are Boeing’s airliners and American phone chipmaker Qualcomm.
Citizens for Ethics, a nonprofit U.S. government ethics and accountability watchdog organization, made an interesting point. They claim that Trump and Ivanka’s unusually warm behavior to China today could be due to the fact that they both have their own business interests with China, regardless of occupying the White House at the same time.
Trump brand and Ivanka brand clothing are made in China. We won't hold our breath waiting for him to say something as president that could potentially damage his personal business deals. https://t.co/JGcWm9pl6H
— Citizens for Ethics (@CREWcrew) November 9, 2017
Whatever the reason, it may actually be a great blessing that Trump toned himself down in China today. Had he arrived with guns blazing to appease his base, international relations would be even more of a nightmare today. However, we see that Trump in China is a completely different man than Trump when he’s safely on American soil.
See a video of Trump’s visit below:
Featured image: Screenshot via YouTube