President Trump and China’s President Xi Jinping were calling each other friend by the end of their springtime retreat at Trump’s Florida club, Mar-a-Lago — a relationship that would have been unimaginable months earlier….On Monday in Japan, Trump expressed his new view: “I like him a lot. I consider him a friend. With that being said, he represents China; I represent the United States.”
Expect the good times to continue when Xi figuratively rolls out an ultra-wide red carpet to host Trump in Beijing — a “state visit-plus” in the words of the Chinese ambassador to the United States….The Chinese, much like the Japanese and South Koreans on the first two stops of Trump’s five-nation Asia tour, believe the gilded treatment is the best way to play to Trump’s ego and disarm him, and thereby blunt his demands that China open up its economy and take a harder tack against North Korea, according to experts and former government officials.
Flattery never hurts, of course, but what Abe and Xi are doing is so obvious that it’s hard to believe it would work even on Trump. But apparently it does. Trump is so titanically un-self-aware that he apparently has no idea that his hosts are all but openly mocking him with their displays of pomp and signed baseball hats and so forth. What a clown.