Donald Trump arrived at the APEC summit with a bit of swagger. Though already a naturally tall and broad-shouldered man, he stood bigger than life among his world leader contemporaries as a petulant Establishment Media did all it could to downplay the aura of strength that followed Mr. Trump everywhere he went. Gone was the rapid gun-chewing insecurity that marked Barack Obama’s participation in such gatherings. There was no apologizing for America’s past. No remarking how the United States owed others. No hiding from the fact that in an increasingly volatile and complicated world, America remains the one true superpower.
And despite the media’s fake obsession with Russia these days, it is China that poses the single greatest challenge to U.S. superiority throughout the world. It has been China that has expanded the scope of its economy and influence by leaps and bounds nearly unchecked by any rival, America or other, for some fifty years. Then came Donald Trump, a political outsider but a worldly man familiar with the workings of Chinese government and business. Mr. Trump strode up to China’s President Xi, firmly grasped his hand, looked him in the eyes, and delivered an unapologetic “America First” message that sent ripples of stunned admiration through the entire delegation.
It was glorious. The Establishment Media will never report that fact. It will never participate in the truth of how strong and proud is Mr. Trump’s representation of this nation as he stands literally and figuratively towering over other world leaders.
Many thought Xi would get the better of Trump at the APEC summit. That didn’t happen as reported here by the Washington Examiner:
…Trump continued, “When the United States enters into a trading relationship with other countries or other peoples, we will, from now on, expect that our partners will faithfully follow the rules just like we do. We expect that markets will be open to an equal degree on both sides, and that private industry, not government planners, will direct investment.”
It was a message that struck implicit contrast with China. Trump wants nations to know that he seeks expanded trade, but with safeguards to prevent the dumping, intellectual property theft and market access restrictions that current affect too many arrangements. For all of Xi’s pleasant words, the audience knew that China is the number one offender in everything Trump mentioned. They also know that the U.S. imports far more from the region that it exports, so they have a vested interest in continuing to keep America on the side. These are America’s trump cards.
To conclude, Trump cleverly returned the historical argument. He noted that America’s priority was protection for “individual rights, and freedom of navigation and overflight, including open shipping lanes. Three principles and these principles create stability and build trust, security, and prosperity among like-minded nations.”
As audience followed that “shipping lanes” line with applause, Xi must have felt uncomfortable. After all, he knows that everyone in attendance is greatly concerned by China’s efforts to militarize the East and South China Sea shipping lanes. In turn, Xi fears these nations continuing to believe the American rule-of-law based system is the better than his alternative.
He is right to be concerned.
The applause among Asian leaders for POTUS Trump’s speech (with the exception of China) was thunderous and far surpassed anything received overseas in eight years by Barack Obama. It points to something Mr. Obama and his supporters never understood. Much of the world does not hate America – it envies it, it emulates it, it wants to stand with it. Some of the greatest cesspools against American values come not from places like Japan, Vietnam, or India, but rather the American media, Congress, and U.S. universities. It is a form of collective self-loathing that leaves the world shaking its head at us.
No more. Donald Trump loves his country and he also happens to be its president. The world is taking notice and if the response to Mr. Trump at the APEC summit is any measure, they are very glad to have a strong and confident America back and open for business.