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Xi vs. Trump: Who has the best hand in the possible commercial war?

BEIJING – China-US processing 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 continuous turmoil in his administration and a tough challenge in the parliamentary elections, Jinping leads an authoritarian, externally stable regime. Xi recently managed to push for a constitutional reform that allows him to govern as long as he does not want a serious electoral challenge.

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

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FRIENDLY TALK

Although Trump sounded tough in the election campaign and challenged Beijing for trade and Taiwan, he admires his Chinese counterpart and congratulated him on his ability to eliminate 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 great and Xi is a great gentleman," he said in remarks at a Republican fundraiser obtained last month by CNN.

Xi has generally limited his comments to emphasize the benefits of a close China-United States. 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 BACKGROUNDS

Both Trump and Xi come from privileged backgrounds, although their routes to politics power was 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 a 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 place a strong emphasis on the military, including a larger defense budget and an appreciation for military parades, two of which Xi has led during his tenure.

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MANAGEMENT FORCES

Xi's plan to create It is considered that Chinese global competitors in fields such as robotics, electric cars and pharmaceuticals precipitate the current crisis, while Trump seems motivated by the desire to prop up the manufacturing strength of the United States.

No one wants to be seen as a backslide, and although Xi usually has a soft attitude in contrast to Trump's trademark bravado, both "are thin-skinned thugs who place a lot of value on the strength of the portrait," said Liz Economy, a academic highlight about China and author of "The Third Revolution: Xi Jinping and the New Chinese State."

"This makes it difficult to reduce the pace of this death match at a one-to-one rate", although both have the ability through Twitter or the state media to proclaim its success. and ignore any failure once the dispute is over, Economy said.

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WE MAKE AN OFFER

While the current dispute has focused on trade, many other factors are at play, highlighting the negotiation qualities and natures transactions 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, an expert China in politics 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 an attempt by Beijing to reaffirm its centrality in resolving tensions over the nuclear and missile programs of the North.

___ [19659032] CHINA & # 39; S CARDS

However, as North Korea's most important trade partner and political ally, China exercises considerable influence and willingness to enforce the sanctions of the United Nations. credibility as a reliable international partner.

China may also exert additional pressure on Taiwan, the island's autonomous democracy that it claims, and which is closely linked to Washington despite unofficial technical ties.

While responding slightly to Trump's early reach to the island's independence government, recent moves include the appointment of new national security adviser John Bolton, the passage of a US law that encourages more intergovernmental exchanges and an agreement to approve the Taiwan's underwater manufacturing technology strengthens visions among anti-American nationalists in China.

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CHALLENGES AT HOME

While Yu cites internal support for Trump's commercial approach to China, Xi can probably gain stronger support in his country for a muscular approach to what Beijing portrays as a conflict resulting from unilateralism and the hegemony of the United States.

Xi also does not face any electoral challenges as Trump's Republican party will face in mid-term parliamentary elections later this year, when Trump's handling of the US economy. UU and a number of other topics will be in the mix. Aware of the concerns 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," said Joseph Fewsmith, an expert at 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 academic, adding that the outside world has a limited view of the political debates within China.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material can not be published, transmitted, rewritten or redistributed.

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