A Constructive U.S.-China Summit; Donald Trump Tonight
Author: Greg Valliere
November 15, 2022
AT THE LEAST, communication between the two superpowers seems to be on a much more stable path, with more talks scheduled for early next year. The personal connection between Biden and Xi seemed solid yesterday and remarkably free of harsh rhetoric as both leaders acknowledged a need to improve relations.
TO BE SURE, THERE ARE ENORMOUS ISSUES: Taiwan is the biggest threat to stability, but Biden said what we’ve been hearing for many months: a Chinese invasion of Taiwan is not imminent. The war in Ukraine makes a Taiwan conflict — with potentially huge casualties and enormous sanctions — less likely.
BOTH LEADERS SEEMED TO AGREE that Russia has to be dissuaded from using tactical nuclear weapons, and there was agreement that both countries should re-double efforts to combat climate change.
XI AND BIDEN just won elections and enjoy positions of strength to negotiate; could some trade liberalization be on the table in 2023? Secretary of State Antony Blinken plans to visit China early next year.
FOR NOW, WE’LL LEAVE the final words to Biden, who has been on a roll since summer. “We’re going to compete vigorously, but I’m not looking for conflict,” Biden said at a news conference after the meeting. “I’m looking to manage this competition responsibly.”
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SOME SENSE OF ORDER EMERGED on Capitol Hill yesterday, as Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy moved closer to winning party votes to lead Republicans in the Senate and House, respectively. McConnell has enough GOP Senators in his pocket; McCarthy has only a tiny GOP majority in the House, but there’s no one — at least now — who could take him out as Speaker.
THE SQUABBLING in Congress will take a back seat this evening as Donald Trump claims the stage. Regardless of what he says tonight, Trump’s run for president in 2024 is enormously unpopular in the GOP establishment, which points out that virtually all election deniers lost — including Kari Lake in Arizona, which was an especially humiliating loss for Trump.
THE NEW MANTRA in the party is that Trump is an albatross who polarizes independent voters, who broke heavily for the Democrats in the last two weeks of the campaign. We’re not willing to bet that Trump is finished — you underestimate him at your own peril — but for now we think Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is the favorite to win the GOP nomination.
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