Thoughts from my recent Beijing trip
This note was first for my paying subscribers but I decided to unlock it for everyone to read. Feel free to forward it to anyone you think might find it interesting.
Today’s issue is a brief note of some of my takeaways, Monday will return to the more familiar format.
US-China — While we have no public idea what if anything happened at Beidaihe, I heard consistently that the key theme of any discussions about US-China relations that may have occurred was whether it made sense to find a way to make concessions to the US without looking weak, or whether the trade pressure is just one piece of a multi-dimensional strategy to “thwart China’s rise”. Before you dismiss the idea that President Trump could be strategic remember that there are some very knowledgeable, “hawkish” and experienced “China hands” working in key parts of the bureaucracy. And even if there is not one the Chinese side will always lean towards embracing the idea of a broader conspiracy and strategy.
I believe that Xi has…