I'm still trying to come to terms with my Commonwealth Club event with Steve Moore last month. As therapy, I took some of my less-than-coherent ravings and tried to turn then into proper rant:
Steve, what you are saying is simply delusional.
You keep saying that Xi needs to deal. Why? Because, you say, Trump is deadly serious on China an sod will not back down.
Do remember that Trump declared victory on reforming NAFTA, "the worst trade deal in the history of the world", with small adjustments on autoparts rules-of-origin. Small adjustment on auto parts were enough to transform NAFTA, in Trump's mind, from the worst trade deal in the history of the world into something he is now very proud of. Xi has to be thinking that he should deal with Trump the same way that Mexico did—hang tough, provide a few symbolic concessions only, and Trump will cave. then things will go go back to business-as-usual.
What is there in the situation that would keep that from being the obvious strategy for Xi to follow?