Looking for Nixon

Upon request, how will Biden be different from Trump?  I offer no specifics.  Specifics are boring.  Will you allow me to merely offer observations? 

 It is difficult to agree with 100% of what a person does, just as it is equally difficult to disagree with 100% of what a person may also do.

Life is complex, and full of drama.  As such, it is good to learn from it.  We call it History.  Choose your topic.  Any topic, and I will tell you there is something to be learned from it, and something to disavow.  

Men are complicated.   

Only Nixon could have gone to China.  If Nixon had not gone to China, Mao would never have met a US President, because he would have been dead before an American President had showed up.   My guess is Reagan would have been the man to open up China.  

Yet Nixon was a scheming, paranoid SOB that treated his own people like shit.  He never would have won any "Boss of the Year" awards. 

JFK for all his glamour "talked the talk" about recognizing China.  He saw the idiocy of not doing so.  "After the 64 elections", he would say.   LBJ for all his incompetence with Vietnam, didn't either.  Of course China was ruining his day in Vietnam, everyday.  

So let's talk about Trump.  I probably agreed with about 20% of what he espoused.  Foreigners' children shouldn't just be allowed citizenship because their children were born here.  Why not? So many American laws were created long, long before other nations figured out they could easily violate the spirit of these laws.   Few of America's laws were created with China in mind.

We had one friend, an extremely skinny lady that just happened to be pregnant, come to America in the Spring, wearing a heavy coat.  She was nervous they would ask her to remove the coat, thus revealing her child.  The baby was born here.  BTW, her husband worked for Xinhua.  

China Wife and I were good friends with them in Hong Kong.  When I met up with her husband later in Beijing I asked for a tour of the Xinhua head office.  It was denied.  An American in Bejing that speaks Chinese?  Must be a spy.

Trump will go down as the worst President ever.  Eventually we will probably get to examine his brain during an autopsy and discover it was badly compromised.   The portions of the brain that control empathy, narcissism, etc will most certainly be badly compromised. 

This was a man that lied without remorse.  Like Mao was ready to dispose of Zhou, he was ready to dump Pence.  Yet had the uncanny ability to speak to the same people he wouldn't be caught dead making small talk to, or having dinner with;  poor white voters that loved him.  He probably referred to them secretly as ignorant white trash.   

Trump had inferior intelligence, knew nothing about China aside from the fact Mao once lived there, and yet without reservation me and probably every other American paying attention agreed totally and without hesitation on his China policy.  

His policy on China would have been much better if he'd only coordinated with Europe.  But that would infer Trump was a strategic thinker.  Alas Trump was no chess player.  And he probably was poor at playing checkers, too.

China has been lucky for the longest time.

It started in 1968 when Nixon wrote a famous article, before he became President, stating that it was time for America to consider recognizing China.   His urge to leverage China against Russia was brilliant, but oh so obvious in hindsight.  One must remember, Vietnam was all the rage in 1968.  And China was its biggest supplier of war material.  Yet China simply wasn't on anyone's mind at the time.  There was no pandering from within America to be friends with China. 

America fell prey to its own penchant for "wanting to be liked".   I always tell my daughters don't try and be everyone's friend.   And if someone is pissed at you in the workplace odds are you are doing something right.  Well America with all the leverage in the world(Afterall if America didn't want China in the UN, it wouldn't be in the UN.), bent over backwards to help out China.

Starting with deserting Taiwan.  And the longer time goes by, the more glaring a suckup that looks. 

China got lucky with Nixon.  And China owes a great, great debt of gratitude to Brezhnev.  The more aggressive Russia became in the 70's and 80's, the more stubborn and obstinate he was, the more popular China became in the eyes of America.  Like Biden in 2020, China just "sat in the basement", and let Russia do all the talking.  

Then Reagan left the US Presidency and George Bush came along.  George Bush becoming President was like China winning the damn lottery.  Everyday he was President was a good day for China.  Nevermind the guy couldn't speak a damn word of Chinese, and knew fuck all about the place. 

My children know more about China than he ever did. But he was the President, and had "fallen for China", like a guy falls for a beautiful girl without once seeing her without makeup. 

China played upon George Bush's "Love of China".  It wasn't hard.  Bush was a willing suitor, dying to be seduced.  It didn't take much.  Remember, he had once served as envoy to China in 1974.  He had zero qualifications for the job but was a Republican and Nixon loved him.  Besides, appointing either John Davies or John Service would have made too much sense.  

And now this guy was President baby!

(Manchurian Candidate?)

If George Bush hadn't been President in 1989, it is quite possible China wouldn't have had further diplomatic relations with America.  Of course I'm speaking of Tiananmen.  Many a China enthusiast, or China blogger like myself avoid this topic.  Many a famous podcaster simply choose to focus on other topics.  It is called self censorship folks.  That is because we all want to go back to China someday. 

So China really owes it's great fortune to two men.  Nixon and Bush.  If for instance, Clinton or Obama had been President in 1989, things may have turned out differently.  Bush, still enamored by China, punishes China by sending two of his closest advisors to Beijing, to drink champagne.   Remember folks, it's only poor optics if people find out about it. 

Remember what George Bush believed until the end?   Give them time, and they'll within a generation be "just like us"..... Wasn't it only so few decades ago America's "wise leaders" fretted about "losing China"?  That was George Bush's mentality.                +

Unfortunately, as time has passed, that gorgeous lady you've been eyeing for so long has indeed taken off her makeup.  She snores.  And she farts in bed.  She even has pimples on her back.  (But I still love her so.)

Now what?  Fast forward thirty years.  American capitalism has subsidized China's navy(you are most welcome).  We've given you more than a few of our manufacturing jobs, and only now we wonder what we got in return?  If you're waiting for the payback fella....well, bring your own chair.  

But give us credit ok?  Only Trump could've been uncouth enough to say "Hey You!".

And only Trump had the balls to say the obvious:  that China not only is NOT like us, but WILL NEVER be like us.  So my advice is simple:

Get over it. 

Which is what Trump did.   He's reached out to Taiwan, put tariffs on China, that appear to be the new normal, and to China's credit, it has absorbed the pain.  In effect, the world's premier bullier has bullied the bully.  And most folks like it.  Liberals love it, too.  Even Tom Friedman, the ultimate liberal, with a zillion Pulitzer Prizes to his name, has lauded Trump on China. 

So China's shine is gone, baby, long gone. 

And believe it or not, what is everyone's trepidation now that America's worst President is gone?

(Ok I must stop saying this.  We must all remember James Buchanon and Andrew Johnson!) 

Simple:  Biden, like Clinton and Obama before him, will simply have China's leaders wipe the floor with him.  And I tend to agree.....somewhat.  Yes, Biden is an old man.  And old men want peace with the world.  They want to gently mentor the rest of us.  "Don't waste your time with hate...." blah blah blah.   I get it.

Problem now is, it is even worse than it seems.  That girl you fell for?  Well, not only does she have pimples on her back, but she doesn't shave her legs either.  And now she has moved in!  And won't leave!!

Fortunately, Biden is surrounded by people half his age.  They don't remember a China from the 1970's or even 80's.  The only China they remember is China post 1989.   That's the only China they grew up with.  It is the only China they know.  And they will keep Biden on "the path".   Why?  Nothing sophisticated.  They just disdain what China has become.   And they hate Republicans.  To them, there is no difference between a fat cat in a pinstripe suit and China. 

Biden will still try and make a deal.  A big deal.  A huge deal. 

But I tell you this.  He will be nothing but the Neville Chamberlain of our time.  China knows what it wants.  It will not be stopped.  China is focused.  And the Chinese People have bought in.  

 But because Biden is old and wise, he still believes China can "be turned".  And he will make a deal.  But make no mistake, everyone he is surrounded with all want to be President someday.  Today no one cares about "losing China".   Can care less actually.  Today no one wants to be known as "soft" on China.  Biden's biggest challenge won't be convincing China to "be our friend".   It will be his own people, all ready to throw him off the train the first time China does something to make Biden and America look bad.

America and China won't be sharing a pillow anytime soon.  Why?  We have no Nixon, that's why.  


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