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3 Dec, 2018 16:08

Trump ignites bromance with China’s Xi, as intel agencies warn of Chinese ‘aggression’

Trump ignites bromance with China’s Xi, as intel agencies warn of Chinese ‘aggression’

Flames of bromance were stoked at the Argentina G20 summit, with President Trump boasting of a newfound friendship with Chinese presidentt Xi Jinping. To US intelligence agencies though, the friendship could be dangerous.

“My meeting in Argentina with President Xi of China was an extraordinary one,” Trump tweeted on Monday. “Relations with China have taken a BIG leap forward! Very good things will happen.” Trump then called his relationship with Xi “very strong and personal,” and described the dynamic duo as the only two people who can fix US-China relations, find a solution in North Korea, and (presumably) bring about world peace.

Whereas both nations had been locked into a trade war for much of the year, Trump and Xi agreed over the weekend to suspend new tariffs and re-enter talks. In addition, the US said that China will buy a "very substantial” amount of US products to ease the trade imbalance, and will clamp down on the export of Fentanyl – the deadly synthetic opioid contributing to the 197 overdose deaths per day in the US.

Just like he did with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, Trump appears to be displaying his signature ‘threats, then flattery’ approach to international relations. But, while things might be all rosy between Trump and Xi now, US intelligence agencies likely don’t approve of the budding bromance.

Naval confrontations in the South China Sea, NSA tales of escalating cyber attacks, and dire warnings of Chinese election meddling have all but made China America’s Next Top Villain. Indeed, high-level US officials have started to talk about China using language previously reserved for the eternal boogeyman Russia.

Also on rt.com It takes two to tango: What did G20 summit actually achieve?

China has been dubbed a “great power competitor” by Defense Secretary James Mattis; accused of trying to “reduce the relative power” of the US by State Secretary Mike Pompeo; and charged with training pilots for long-range nuclear bomber missions “targeting the US” by a Pentagon report.

Can Trump and Xi’s newfound friendship usher in a more peaceful period between Beijing and Washington? Or are the two leaders star-crossed lovers, their relationship doomed to end in tragedy, Romeo-and-Juliet-style?  

Trump certainly seems to think the former. In another tweet on Monday, the president said he is “certain” that himself, Xi, and Russian President Vladimir Putin can put their heads together and simmer down military competition.

However, the Pentagon labeled China and Russia the two biggest threats to US interests in its latest national defense strategy, published in January. The might of the Defense Department, its 700 billion budget, and the legion of defense industry lobbyists hanging around Capitol Hill might just favor the latter outcome.

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