Presidents Trump and Xi — America and China — are in the same political boat. Something both presidents must keep in mind when they next meet.
Both leaders are personally sitting on explosive economic, political and military powder-kegs.
Both leaders are leading a divisive political faction that is resulting in domestic identity politics, and a Sino-U.S. trade and military confrontation, fertilizing each country for revolutionary political changes.
Both Xi and Trump face growing opposition from within their own respective non-representative minority-political-clichés and the public at large.
Trump is leading and supported by the conservative faction of the Republican Party. Rural, suburban, middle-class, predominantly white citizens, who feel they have been neglected and marginalized.
Xi is leading and supported by the so-called Red Aristocrats who come from the families of the revolutionaries who held key government positions when the Chinese communist republic was founded in 1949.
Two representative extremes. But both creating the same toxic political environment. Angering and outraging the rest of the people. The rest of the party members in the Republican and Communist parties, as well as those non-party members who belong to the different parties or are independents in America, and the non-communist party members in China.
In America Trump’s primary opposition and challenges come from the Democratic Party and its bureaucratic ideologues in Washington.
In China Xi’s primary opposition comes from the Shanghai Faction, officials without significant pre-1949 revolutionary pedigrees who rose to the top after Mao and Deng Xiaoping marginalized old-time pedigrees. Former Shanghai mayor and Communist Party Secretary Jiang Zemin leads this faction, with the support of former President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao, who bring their power base the Communist Youth League. The league is a boot camp for commoners wishing to be credentialed for Party membership and is imbedded in the bureaucracy.
Both Trump and Xi are doing everything in their power to undercut their opposition within their parties, opposing parties, and the media.
Minorities in America and China are the primary political targets. African-Americans and Latinos in America and ethnic Uighurs in Xinjiang, China.
The people in both America and China find both leaders behavior reprehensible and unacceptable.
The people of America and China have made revolutionary political changes on both home fronts in the past — and are poised and prepared to do the same today.
That is the reason that in 2012, Wang Qishan, a confidante of Xi and the head of his anticorruption effort at the time, called on senior Chinese Communist Party members to read Alexis de Tocqueville’s The Old Regime and the Revolution, about the popular uprising that toppled the monarchy in France in 1789.
President Trump and his senior advisers and supporters in the Republican Party will be wise to do the same.
The recent Chinese decision to remove and ban from secondary school textbooks Chenshe Shijia, the biography of Chen Sheng and Wu Guang family figures behind China’s first documented uprising and rural rebellion during the Qin dynasty in 2029BC, is also telling. Additional recommended reading for Team Trump and the Republican Party.
The only way to avoid imminent domestic revolutionary change in America and China, a trade war or military confrontation — Armageddon — is for America and China to reach fair, mutually beneficial agreements on all fronts. Not just for individual families, political factions or country — but the people of America, China and the world. All people.
Neutralizing North Korea’s nuclear, biological and cyber weapons of mass destruction is a good place to start.