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Despite what President Trump says, the United States is moving forward.
Time

BEIJING – China-USA UU The trade dispute presents two leaders who have expressed their friendship but are equally determined to pursue the interests of their nation and their own political agendas.

But while President Donald Trump faces a continuous change in his administration and a tough challenge in the parliamentary elections, Jinping leads an authoritarian externally stable regime. Recently, Xi managed to push for a constitutional reform that allowed him to govern for as long as he wanted without facing a serious electoral challenge.

A look at some of the issues that could determine the outcome of the trade dispute:

Friendly talk

Although Trump sounded tough in the election campaign and challenged Beijing for trade and Taiwan, he professed admiration for his Chinese counterpart and congratulated him for his ability to remove the limits of his presidential mandate.

"President Xi and I will always be friends, whatever happens with our dispute over trade," Trump said in a tweet on Sunday. "China is big and Xi is a great gentleman," he said in remarks at a Republican fundraiser last month obtained by CNN.

Xi has generally limited his comments to emphasize the benefits of a close China-US. relationship and thanks to Trump in a phone call on March 10 to congratulate him for his second term as president. A pair of summits among US leaders UU And China during the past year were also hailed by China as successes.

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Family background

Both Trump and Xi come from privileged backgrounds, although their routes to political power were decidedly different. Both, however, have built their reputation on a robust form of nationalism, with Trump promoting "America First" and Xi identifying with the "Chinese Dream" of an upward prosperity accompanied by a muscular defense and foreign policies.

Trump was born the son of a real estate mogul in New York City and rose to the presidency in a populist wave after a career as a property developer and star of reality shows. Xi's father was a colleague of Mao Zedong, whose influence is believed to have helped his rise through a series of military, governmental and Communist Party positions before being named party leader in 2012.

Both also show An affection for strong man leadership, and although American democracy is far removed from China's one-party authoritarian system, Trump's verbal attacks on mainstream media and certain judges have provoked criticism. Both also put a strong emphasis on the military, including an increase in defense budgets and an appreciation for military parades, two of which Xi has led during his tenure.

Driving Forces

Xi's plan to create global Chinese competitors in fields that include robotics, electric cars and pharmaceuticals is considered a precipitator of the current crisis, while Trump it seems motivated by a desire to shore up the manufacturing force of the United States.

No one wants to be seen as a setback, and although Xi's usually mild manner contrasts with Trump's bravado, both "are thin-skinned thugs who place a lot of value on the power to portray" said Liz Economy, a outstanding academic on China and author of "The Third Revolution: Xi Jinping and the New Chinese State".

"This makes it difficult to reduce the number of casualties in this one-on-one death-match," although both have the ability through Twitter or state media to proclaim their success and ignore any failure once that the dispute has ended, Economy said.

Let's make a deal

While the current dispute is focused on trade, there are many other factors to play, highlighting the negotiating qualities and the transactional natures of the two leaders and their administrations. Opinions on who has the advantage differ widely.

In pursuing the tariff threat and backing complaints about intellectual property theft, Trump has "successfully changed the fundamentals of … US-China relations," said Miles Yu Maochun of China. policy expert at the US Naval Academy UU in Annapolis, Maryland.

Yu also points to the recent US policy UU on North Korea, in particular Trump's acceptance of an invitation to talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Beijing unprepared.

Shortly thereafter, Kim made an unexpected visit to China as a leader in what some saw as Beijing's attempt to reaffirm its centrality in resolving tensions over the nuclear and missile programs of the North.

China Cards

However, as North Korea's most important trading partner and political partner, China exerts considerable influence and its willingness to apply United Nations sanctions has increased its credibility as a partner reliable international [19659008] China may also exert additional pressure on Taiwan, the island's autonomous democracy that claims, and which is closely linked to Washington despite unofficial technical ties.

Although he responded smoothly to Trump's early arrival to the island's independence government, recent moves such as the appointment of new national security adviser John Bolton, approval of a US law that encourages more intergovernmental exchanges and an agreement to approve Taiwan's underwater manufacturing technology hardens the opinions of anti-American nationalists in China.

The Taiwan Affairs Office warned on Wednesday against further measures to strengthen relations with Taiwan, am. ID reports that Bolton could visit the island this year.

"Any attempt to play the 'Taiwan card' would be futile," said spokesman Ma Xiaoguang at a biweekly press conference. China, Ma said, "would not hesitate to protect our basic interests."

Challenges at Home

While Yu cites internal support for Trump's commercial approach to China, Xi can probably gain stronger support at home for a muscular approach to what Beijing describes as a conflict resulting from unilateralism and hegemony American.

Xi also does not face an electoral challenge like the one that Trump's Republican party will face in the parliamentary elections mid-year later, when Trump manages the US economy. UU of other problems will be in the mix. Conscious of the voters, especially in the agricultural and industrial sectors, Xi seems willing to use such influence to obtain the maximum benefit.

"Xi will follow a hard but well-run path designed to damage specific interests that will complain loudly," Joseph said. Fewsmith, an expert from Boston University on Chinese foreign policy.

While Xi is considered the most powerful leader since Mao, China "only seems to be united and confident in its approach," said Economy, the academician, adding that the outside world has a limited view of the political debates within China.

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