While necessarily needing to continue the gamesmanship, and publicly exhibit positive reception therein, I doubt seriously President Trump is fooled by this familiar Chinese ploy. Actions speak louder than words:
BOAO/BEIJING, China (Reuters) – Chinese President Xi Jinping promised on Tuesday to open the country’s economy further and lower import tariffs on products like cars, in a speech seen as an attempt to defuse an escalating trade dispute with the United States.
While much of his pledges were reiterations of previously announced reforms that foreign businesses say are long overdue, Xi’s comments sent stock markets and the U.S. dollar higher on hopes of a compromise that could avert a trade war.
Xi said China will widen market access for foreign investors, addressing a chief complaint of its trading partners and a point of contention for U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration, which has threatened billions of dollars in tariffs on Chinese goods. (more)
Historic Chinese geopolitical policy, vis-a-vis their totalitarian control over political engagement (action) and diplomacy through silence, is evident in the strategic use of the space between carefully chosen words, not just the words themselves.
Each time China takes aggressive action (red dragon) China projects a panda face through silence and non-response to opinion of that action.…. meanwhile, the action continues. The red dragon has a tendency to say one necessary thing publicly, while manipulating another necessary thing privately. The Art of War.
President Trump is the first U.S. President to understand how the red dragon hides behind the panda mask.
It is specifically because he understands that Panda is a mask that President Trump messages warmth toward the Chinese people, and pours vociferous praise upon Xi Jinping, while simultaneously confronting the geopolitical doctrine of the Xi regime.
In essence Trump is mirroring the behavior of China while confronting their economic duplicity.
Peace or war. Win or lose. Yin and Yang. Culturally there is no middle position in dealings with China; they are not constitutionally capable of understanding or valuing the western philosophy of mutual benefit where concession of terms gains a larger outcome.
If it does not benefit China, it is not done. Why would any nation agree to any action that is adverse to their specific interests? From the Chinese position any nation taking such action is weak. In politics or economics the same perspective is true. It is a zero-sum outlook.
Therefore the only way you win a strategic confrontation with China is to control the outcomes of victory. China must win inside the outcome as presented. All successful negotiation with China is based on the principle that China must view the presented end-deal as a victory.
If the negotiation is presented as China needing to concede a current position, they will never agree and a deal will never happen. China must gain within the outcome.
Avoiding loss is not victory from the Chinese perspective.