Part 1: Cheat Sheet Q&A: What actually happened with China during the meetings with President Trump?:
Today's entry: Brian. Dumb question. What actually happened during the weekend visit with the Chinese President? It seems oddly quiet given all of the currency manipulation and trade talk for so long before the meeting.
Bottom Line: Well it's not as dumb of a question as you evidently think. We've been trained, in the first several weeks of the Trump administration, to have details of seemingly every activity made available almost immediately for public consumption. Whether it's been intelligence leaks, Trump tweets or an often over-zealous media... This weekend was markedly different - which is all the more curious given the stakes of the two top economic leaders in the world meeting at Mar-A-Lago. So what did come out of the weekend? Here's what we do know:
This weekend ushered in a new process which will play out over the next 100 days. The most insightful information we have comes from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's commentary. Here's what he indicated:
High level framework for a new US-Chinese relationship was established. Three different areas will be addressed:
- US - Chinese diplomacy
- Geo-Political diplomacy
*To be clear this is what I've inferred based on the available information available - not what Tillerson or any administration official has explicitly stated
So what we know is that the two leaders agreed on a 100 day plan to put together ideas, must haves and areas of compromise to potentially reach a new agreement with China that could include official policy stances on trade, currency and diplomatic measures.
A deeper look at the US - Chinese diplomatic conversation seems to have already resulted in immediate agreement. First, it was notable that Xi Jingping was with President Trump at about the time that the President ordered the airstrike on Syria in direct opposition to Russia. Our concern has long been that Russia and China would join forces against us (perhaps with Iran and/or North Korea) ushering in WWIII. What's more is that despite the contestantation to China's occupation in the South China Sea - and our numerous close calls/posturing with Chinese military - we've immediately redirected naval craft into the Pacific to position us for any possible threat posed by North Korea.
These actions indicate that it's likely that highly substantive talks took place. In Part two we'll take a look at what impacts your wallet.