Government officials in Beijing are skeptical of Donald Trump. But they feel they can negotiate with him and need to resolve some economic disputes that have festered too long. They like him and, more importantly, they like his party better than Hillary Clinton and her party.
Chinese opinion surveys consistently show that more than 70 percent of survey respondents agree that their government is responsive to public opinion. In contrast, in the same surveys, only a little over 30 percent in democratic Taiwan feel the same way.
The domestic conditions that Trump has addressed in this US presidential election include a yearning for a restored middle class, a sense of increasing economic insecurity, and anger over wage stagnation and widening inequality. This domestic-centric sour national mood will spill over into US foreign policy.
The effectiveness of China’s new food security strategy remains doubtful, as it might turn out to be extremely difficult, if not entirely impossible, for it to achieve absolute security or self-sufficiency in staples. China’s attempts to boost staple production could bring huge economic, social and environmental costs to the country.
The results of applying the model of the nation-state in Asia have not been encouraging. There are recurring problems of ethnic conflict, religious polarization, and separatism, which erupt now and then in violence.
The concept of soft power is advocating a sophisticated way of using hard power, involving use of persuasion, drawing on a country’s cultural and intellectual resources where possible and appropriate. It does not rule out the use of pressure and force.
In Surin and in other examples around the world, small-scale and low-tech production appears to have created the conditions under which the poor can reduce the poverty that has plagued them for decades.