back to article Trump kept ZTE alive as ‘personal favour’ to Chinese president Xi

US president Donald Trump did the deal to keep telco kit provider ZTE in business as a favour to Chinese president Xi Jinping. So said Peter Navarro, who’s in a position to know: he serves as assistant to the president, director of trade and industrial policy, and director of the White House National Trade Council. Navarro …

  1. malle-herbert Silver badge
    Trollface

    "The US president claims he’s a negotiator"...

    The US president seems to claim a lot of things...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "The US president claims he’s a negotiator"...

      Including delusions of competance. I think he has a mental illness.

      1. iromko
        Devil

        Re: "The US president claims he’s a negotiator"...

        Only if you consider a combination of sociopathy, misogyny and propensity to stealing and lying as mental illness. He may as well claim that on his trial, though...

        1. LDS Silver badge

          Re: "The US president claims he’s a negotiator"...

          In his businesses, he's used to be the 800 pound gorilla unless when he has to beg money from far richer foreign investors - in that case everything is more discrete, as he has to bow .. - and he's ready to sell his country for his own advantage.

          He's also more interested in showing off than in actual results. Expect Kim take advantage of his megalomania to give almost nothing in exchange for a lot - he just need to let Trump think he could boast he got a "very good deal".

          1. Davisch

            Re: "The US president claims he’s a negotiator"...

            In Trump's opinion, if it doesn't cost him personally, it is de facto a good deal. What it costs everyone else is beside the point.

      2. monty75

        Re: "The US president claims he’s a negotiator"...

        delusions of competance

        The man is a living embodiment of the Dunning-Kruger effect

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "The US president claims he’s a negotiator"...

        https://www.salon.com/2017/09/12/harvard-psychiatrist-lance-dodes-donald-trump-is-a-sociopath-and-a-very-sick-individual/

    2. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: "The US president claims he’s a negotiator"...

      I have yet to see him perform in any way like a Statesman or true politician, I stand by the comment I made in another thread, that he views politics as an extension of the Art of the Deal.

      Trumpian politics is the same as JR's South Fork boardroom politics but not as nice.

      1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

        Re: "The US president claims he’s a negotiator"...

        I have yet to see him perform in any way like a Statesman or true politician

        But isn't that his main claim? That's he's not like the usual career politicians and is a breath of fresh air?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I am sure it had nothing to do with Trump receiving Chinese bribes

      "Trump Indonesia Real Estate Project Gets Chinese Government Ally"

      https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/15/world/asia/trump-hotel-china-indonesia.html

      "Did China Just Bribe Trump to Undermine National Security?"

      https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/17/opinion/trump-china-bribe-national-security.html

      1. Roger B

        Re: I am sure it had nothing to do with Trump receiving Chinese bribes

        I was just going to say this, the $500m bribe from the Chinese government for his Indonesian leisure complex seems the likely source of the dotard changing his mind.

        1. pyite42

          Re: I am sure it had nothing to do with Trump receiving Chinese bribes

          Exactly, and this is also the reason he granted China exemptions to the Iran sanctions -- something he isn't willing to do for European allies.

      2. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: I am sure it had nothing to do with Trump receiving Chinese bribes

        That would be Clinton.

        You really need to follow the money.

        1. Roo
          Happy

          Re: I am sure it had nothing to do with Trump receiving Chinese bribes

          Hey, we were following the money. Trump is sat on a huge pile of it.

          1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge

            Re: I am sure it had nothing to do with Trump receiving Chinese bribes

            Unlike Clintons, Trump was rich before going in to politics.

            Think about that.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "The US president claims he’s a negotiator"...

      The US president seems to claim a lot of things...

      Hey, how are things going in North Korea?

      1. thegroucho
        Holmes

        Re: "The US president claims he’s a negotiator"...

        Seems well for the time being.

        What people forget however is that on the background there is a lot of legwork done by China and South Korea.

        But Trump will claim that as his 'art of negotiation' success, like 100% his effort.

        1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge

          @thegroucho ... Re: "The US president claims he’s a negotiator"...

          Whoa!

          Did you happen to miss the fact that the President of South Korea personally and publicly thanked Trump for making their historic meeting happen?

          Seriously, are you folks suffering from TDS? (Trump Derangement Syndrome)

          Do you only get your US based news from CNN?

          I'm an independent, and not a Trump supporter, but so far, the guys done a lot of good and is making a lot of the right moves.

          Want to thank someone? Talk to Pompeo who did a lot of the leg work.

          Seriously, its really sad to watch the MSM melt down over this.

          Please take a step back and watch things unfold.

          Either Kim is going to back out, or he's going to get rid of his nukes. The only scary thing... China doesn't want there to be a strong NK and US relationship because its too close to their borders.

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: @thegroucho ... "The US president claims he’s a negotiator"...

            "Seriously, its really sad to watch the MSM melt down over this."

            What's the MSM? Is that like Fox "News"?

            1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
              Boffin

              Re: @thegroucho ... "The US president claims he’s a negotiator"...

              No, Fake news CNN.

              Or MSNBC...

              With the AT&T merger going through... want to bet there's a regime change at CNN?

          2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: @thegroucho ... "The US president claims he’s a negotiator"...

            "The only scary thing... China doesn't want there to be a strong NK and US relationship because its too close to their borders.""

            Even if that were possible, it would take generations. Only the Chinese can play the long game like that. There no chance of any US politician thinking further ahead than the next election.

            1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge

              @John Brown Re: @thegroucho ... "The US president claims he’s a negotiator"...

              Trump is no ordinary US politician.

              He could care less about being re-elected. He wants change and to fix what Obama and others have screwed up.

              Say what you will, Trump is Trump.

      2. Chris G Silver badge

        Re: "The US president claims he’s a negotiator"...

        "Hey, how are things going in North Korea?"

        아주 잘 !

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "The US president claims he’s a negotiator"...

        "Hey, how are things going in North Korea?"

        So far not great. Trump has already given concessions and received nothing.

    5. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: "The US president claims he’s a negotiator"...

      While its easy to take pot shots at Trump, doesn't anyone wonder why he would do Xi such a favor?

      Sorry, but seriously, you have to stop thinking in such simple linear patterns.

      To be clear, consider this...

      Trump just went to Singapore to meet with Nork's Kim. Ask yourself how did Trump get Kim to the negotiation table so quickly?

      The simplified answer... Kim's bank account is running dry. Reports are that Kim only has foreign cash reserves that will last until Oct, before he's out of money. Because of pressure from the US, the sanctions are cutting off his ability to get money. And the only way the US could get the UN to approve the sanctions.. is with the help of China.

      Without the support of China, Trump couldn't do what he is attempting to do. Even great negotiators have to make deals. Rather than kill ZTE, Trump gets a billion dollars (USD) and China's help.

      Will Trump be successful? I hope so.

      Trump is Trump, but the fact of the matter, North Korea with a ballistic nuke ... much more dangerous.

      Trump kind of reminds me of the character MM (Milo Mindbender) in Catch-22.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Even if he were a perfectly well-behaved excellent negotiator...

    ... Do people really want international relations to be based on personal likes and dislikes, little gifts and favors between the greats of this world, rather than, say, pre-established rules that would apply identically to everybody?

    1. ratfox Silver badge
      Terminator

      Re: Even if he were a perfectly well-behaved excellent negotiator...

      pre-established rules that would apply identically to everybody?

      Ha ha ha ha... Wait, you're serious. Let me laugh even harder: HAA HAA HAA...

      1. Rich 11 Silver badge

        Re: Even if he were a perfectly well-behaved excellent negotiator...

        Ha ha ha ha... Wait, you're serious.

        For reasons known only to yourself, you missed 'rather than, say,...' out of your choice of quoted text.

        There's nothing wrong with aiming to build a better world. Whether it's at all reasonable to expect it is a different matter.

    2. Andytug

      Re: Even if he were a perfectly well-behaved excellent negotiator...

      You forgot the joke icon, I hope.....that's how international relations have been done since time immemorial, the only difference here is the publicity scrum around it.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Even if he were a perfectly well-behaved excellent negotiator...

      ... Do people really want international relations to be based on personal likes and dislikes, little gifts and favors between the greats of this world, rather than, say, pre-established rules that would apply identically to everybody?

      How do you think Obama made $10.8 Million in 8 years?

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Even if he were a perfectly well-behaved excellent negotiator...

        "How do you think Obama made $10.8 Million in 8 years?"

        Well, obviously not by playing Premiership footie. That would make him one of the low earners.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Even if he were a perfectly well-behaved excellent negotiator...

      No.

      But unfortunately the alternative is politics.

      It doesn't matter if you don't like Trump's particular brand, they're all at it.

      Bribes, pardons, betrayal, underhand behaviour, U turns, whatever it takes. And they have the audacity to call Trump a sociopath.

      No honour amongst any of them.

  3. DougS Silver badge

    And the fact his family got business favors from China

    Had nothing to do with it? He's basically offering foreign policy for sale and personal profit. No doubt there will be a raft of new laws about financial disclosure and divesting businesses that will affect all future presidents as a result of his self dealing. In the meantime, we will just have to put up with the idiot, or hope Mueller gets enough on him that even republicans are forced to conclude he needs to go.

    1. LDS Silver badge

      "He's basically offering foreign policy for sale and personal profit"

      That's why he likes Putin so much. They have the same attitude at governing.

      1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

        Re: "He's basically offering foreign policy for sale and personal profit"

        They have the same attitude at governing.

        To be fair Putin has gone to great lengths to keep his family out of the limelight. His daughter or son in law while obviously benefiting from his rule are not employed in any official capacity.

        That is not something I would say about the Orange Baboon and his progeny.

        1. LDS Silver badge

          "To be fair Putin has gone to great lengths to keep his family out of the limelight."

          Which family? The "official one"? The other one? He's also keeping very "secret" his affairs because they wouldn't match very well with his role as a defender of the Orthodox Church and the "true family"...

          Some "private" travels to Switzerland raised a lot of suspicions...

          1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

            Re: Which family?

            I thought his real family were from Raxacoricofallapatorius.

            1. Milton Silver badge

              "... thought his real family were from Raxacoricofallapatorius"

              Don't be silly. They were Crotobaltislavonians¹*.

              As for Trump, although I was a pessimist about the Singapore Summit—because after all, the man is beyond question an absolutely monumental jackass (I'd pay good money to see him trying to hold a conversation with anyone at his own intellectual level ... say, Iain Duncan Donuts; or my gerbil)—I am dumbfounded to see that he has had his trousers pulled down and been bent over the table by Kim even more thoroughly and boisterously²* than I could possibly have imagined. He has got absolutely nothing, nada, zilch except for his transparently meaningless fag-packet memo of "commitments", talks up Little Rocket Fella as a new BFF, and is even saying the US will stop its military drills.

              I'm not sure what I'm looking forward to more, now. Angry Tache Bolton attempting to justify the memo as a victory for US belligerence? Or Dementia Giuliani incoherently trying to convince a nearby lectern that Trump is a stable genius, while his TV interviewer looks on in bemusement?

              (Come to think of it, Bolton soon won't be able to resist saying something arrogantly stupid and threatening, contradicting the sweet nothings in Trump's fag-packet, and the Norks will throw their toys out of the pram and shout "See? See?? We did our best and already they're betraying us—like Iran, Paris accord, G7 etc etc" and no one who matters will bother much with sanctions again because dolt Trump and his claque of boneheads squandered all America's goodwill. Watch and weep.)

              ¹* Two bonus points for anyone who gets the reference.

              ²* Try not visualise this.

              1. Rich 11 Silver badge
                Joke

                Re: "... thought his real family were from Raxacoricofallapatorius"

                ²* Try not visualise this.

                The warning came too late, you utter, utter bastard!

                1. DougS Silver badge

                  Re: "... thought his real family were from Raxacoricofallapatorius"

                  Trump will claim the North Korea summit was a success just like Clinton and Bush claimed their peace deals were a success. It is 100% impossible to verify North Korea's compliance because they've had YEARS to hide nukes where we will never find them. Estimates range from 20 to 60 nukes, so they can hand over 30 and say that's all of them, and we'll never know different.

                  Though in reality the whole process takes so long that Trump could easily be out of office by the time North Korea is found cheating, and he'll blame the next administration (even if his current VP is that "next administration") for the failure and maintain he made a great deal.

                  The idea that North Korea would EVER give up their nuclear capability when they've starved their people for decades to make it happen is ludicrous. That's like someone going through school for years and finally becoming an MD, then deciding they want to shovel pig shit for a living.

                  1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
                    Boffin

                    @DougS ... Re: "... thought his real family were from Raxacoricofallapatorius"

                    The goal is to show Kim that he doesn't need them to succeed.

                    Trump will claim victory early. That's a given and its already happening.

                    The reality is that he was the first to crack this nut, so give him some credit.

                    The real winner will be China. Watch and see.

                    1. DougS Silver badge

                      Re: @DougS ... "... thought his real family were from Raxacoricofallapatorius"

                      Russia will be a bigger winner - Putin is counting the days to when Trump pulls US military forces out of South Korea. He was already talking about how Japan and Korea need to be self sufficient for defense on the campaign trail - no doubt the Russian interests that infested his campaign like Flynn put that particular bug in his ear.

                      They'll also be able to resume trade with North Korea over the small border they share, allowing them to export energy and food from parts of Russia that are too far from other markets to make it reasonable to fully exploit.

                      Trump was played like a fiddle by China and Russia, the "best dealmaker" is so easily manipulated its pathetic. A denuclearized and US free Korean peninsula is China and Russia's dream, and Japan's greatest fear - but in Trump's world our allies are our enemies and our enemies are our BFFs...

              2. strum Silver badge

                Re: "... thought his real family were from Raxacoricofallapatorius"

                >zilch except for his transparently meaningless fag-packet memo of "commitments"

                Just for the record, the USA has been 'committed' to nuclear disarmament since 1970. That didn't mean much, either.

  4. phuzz Silver badge
    WTF?

    Where's Bombastic Bob? He's usually all over any thread that mentions the 't' word.

    Surely there's some sympathetic reason that trump has done this that us filthy libtards aren't getting?

    In fact, it's probably because our feeble minds can't keep up with the greatness that is trump. I'm sure he's actually getting the best deal ('the BEST') from China, right?

    That's right isn't it Bob?

    Bob?

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Perhaps he's your one downvote. Cut him a break, even true believers like him can't defend EVERYTHING Trump does.

  5. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge
    Mushroom

    We're screwed

    The problem I foresee is that Kim Jong-un will now start selling his nukes to terrorist groups. He'd reason that NK is far enough away from their likely place of use. That can only have bad consequences.

    Trump is a moron.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: We're screwed

      The problem I foresee is that Kim Jong-un will now start selling his nukes to terrorist groups.

      I hand't previously considered that, but now you mention it, it does sound like a possible course of action - and not a pleasant one.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Mystic MB ... Re: We're screwed

      No, Kim can't sell his nukes. If he could, he would have done so already. He needs the money.

      First, not a lot of potential buyers.

      Second... there's a bit of a logistical problem.

      What he could do is to sell knowledge and supply technical engineers for a price.

      But even then.... there are logistical problems in getting people from point A to point B.

      Third...

      Kim needs this more than Trump does.

      Say what you will but Trump pulled some strings... did some people some favors and made some tariff threats that caught someone's attention that caused them to talk w Kim.

      Kim is also short on cash. Can't run a country without cash and his foreign capital reserves are going to run out by Oct. No money, you can bet there will be a palace coup.

      Trump is not an eloquent speaker, but he is far from being a moron. Actually, he's quite smart and most likely suffers from ADD. He's not a linear thinker. He can read people and he can put on the charm when he needs to.

      I'd suggest that you reserve an opinion until this goes down or goes sideways.

      I for one have low expectations, but I hope for everyone's sake... this works out.

  6. Ol' Grumpy
    Unhappy

    "A special place in hell ..."

    I think what scares me is the language used by Trump and his advisors about (formerly?) trusted allies and friends. That phrase quoted by Peter Navarro telling the world there is a special place in Hell for Justin Trudeau sounded like it could have come straight from the Westboro Baptist Church press office.

    1. LDS Silver badge

      Re: "A special place in hell ..."

      Just wait for them call a Crusade against Canada... that infidel country!

      Soon you won't be able to tell apart Turkey, Iran and USA...

    2. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: "A special place in hell ..."

      So, what are the chances Canada would pay for a wall?

      Bearing in mind it would be quite long (5,525 mi)

      1. Rich 11 Silver badge

        Re: "A special place in hell ..."

        I expect Canada will be strongly motivated to keep out the economic migrants fleeing the failed state to their south, especially the ones with guns.

        1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
          Boffin

          @Rich 11 ... Re: "A special place in hell ..."

          Yes we have guns.

          Seems your Bobbies now have them as well. (Guns beat knives ;-)

          But I don't understand your comment about 'economic migrants fleeing the failed state to their south.

          The US is between Mexico and Canada.

          Oh you meant the US? Funny but since Trump reduced the taxes, money has been repatriated and US unemployment is at record lows. Historical lows, really.

          Growth is up. Trump may lie like all politicians, but the numbers don't.

          BTW, didn't the number of violent murders in London exceed those of NYC?

          1. strum Silver badge

            Re: @Rich 11 ... "A special place in hell ..."

            >BTW, didn't the number of violent murders in London exceed those of NYC?

            For one month. Where do you get your garbage information from?

            1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge

              Re: @Rich 11 ... "A special place in hell ..."

              LOL... lets keep watching the stats...

              Now Chicago... that's a different situation.

              What makes it worse is that some of the local politicians are encouraging the crime by changing the laws. There's an article in today's Chicago Tribune which explains why there's an increase in car jackings and why more minors are being involved.

              But yeah, go ahead and now ban knives...

          2. strum Silver badge

            Re: @Rich 11 ... "A special place in hell ..."

            >Growth is up.

            The Obama recovery continues (check out the graphs of growth, over the last ten years). Trump has contributed nothing much to it.

            1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge

              @Strum Re: @Rich 11 ... "A special place in hell ..."

              Wow.

              Must be a CNN watcher.

              Sorry but the facts show that the gain is attributed to Trump's actions. Directly attributed to the tax cuts.

              Must be a Nancy Pelosi fan too.

              TDS appears to be rampant among El Reg readers.

    3. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: "A special place in hell ..."

      Sorry but Trudeau tried to pull a fast one and is already on thin ice politically. There's been some articles on his government and the latest purchase of the pipeline ...

      After seeing the images of Trudeau on a visit to India, I have to wonder about him. Definitely cut from the same cloth as Obama who is definitely the worst POTUS in the recent history of the US. Jimmy Carter is jumping for joy because he's lost that title... ;-)

      And yeah, I'm old enough to have lived thru Carter's tenure.

      1. strum Silver badge

        Re: "A special place in hell ..."

        >Trudeau tried to pull a fast one

        Bollocks. He did nothing but repeat what he'd said a week earlier. The Trumpettes just over-reacted to their own failure.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "A special place in hell ..."

      The language sounds like it has been taken straight from Far Cry 5's main antagonists.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I misread the headline as...

    "Trump kept alive as ‘personal favour’ to Chinese president Xi" and thought " that explains a lot!". :)

    1. Paul Herber

      Re: I misread the headline as...

      You beat me to it!

  8. Alistair Silver badge

    I have to point out that

    ZTE went into 'coma' mode -> Trump deal for resort -> sanctions lifted -> ZTE *LIVES*

    I don't care about the finer points, there is only one point, I refuse to believe in coincidences in the case of international political actions.

    As for the "Special Place In Hell for JT" -> Team Trump is simply taking the reaction (and I can honestly say it matters not one single whit WHAT Trudeau (did/did not)(would/would not have) (say/said) in that post G7 press scrum) that the ex Tea Party members that currently manage the (not) Progressive Conservative Party in Canada dictated to them.

    Sadly the "I'm not a real politician and I will bring about a sea change" line of bullshit was bought by sufficient numbers of dolts in this province that we now have a "minitrump" running the show here for the next 4 or 5 years. I rather suspect that I'll start coming off as an inverse Bom.Bob. in the near future.

    1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
      Big Brother

      @Alistair Re: I have to point out that

      ZTE was no coincident.

      Nor were the whole tariff threats.

      Trump isn't linear. He threatens tariffs to get a reaction and then works out what he wants.

      Trump is Trump and you just have to watch what he does and how he does it to understand his next move.

      It wasn't a deal for a resort.

      I suspect it was a deal to exert pressure on North Korea in order to get them to the table.

      There's an interesting timeline.

      Kim goes on armored train to China. After 'secret' meeting, he starts to talk tough and then Trump cancels meeting. Something happens, Kim backs off and then meeting is on.

      Trump's hotels? Not in China. In North Korea.

      Want to know who wins?

      Chinese investors who will now start to put money in to North Korean real estate once the nuke deal is done. Kim wins because he owns the land so his regime come out ahead. The US? wins by not having a rogue nation. South Korea? The Korean war ends, and they too can invest in North Korea.

      I'm not a huge fan of Trump, but if you think about it... if he pulls this off, it would be one of the greatest deals / cons in our life time.

  9. Kev99 Bronze badge

    Putin must have shared the shit he has on Orange with Li.

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