That headline hasn’t been written yet but don’t be surprised if it happens, and soon, sometime before Trump’s inauguration.
Trump needs to rile China as much as possible while minimising any real retaliatory actions. What he does now, before his inauguration, can only lead to threats of retaliation but not any real actions. His mere acceptance of a call from Taiwan’s President has caused large waves. Something the US administration for 40 years has not had the courage to do. Maybe I attribute too much sense to Trump’s team, but I suspect that they have calculated quite well. They have thrown the current Obama administration into a bit of a spin and rendered them effectively impotent in their China posture.
The time before his inauguration is is a unique opportunity for Trump to make statements, meet people and indicate actions which he can later walk away from. It is the time for outrageous trial balloons. Few President-elects have had the nerve to do this before. I note his skillful, and almost Machiavellian, use of the selection process of “possible” members of his administration to confuse and mislead a hostile press.
The liberal/left press still don’t get it. Democracy is all about populism. It may be a trifle stupid but that is what democracy is about. The liberal “elite” – or any elite – cannot prevail in a democracy. They can no longer expect to be blindly followed by the unthinking plebs. They need to court popularity. I suspect there has been a lot more real thinking (whether by heart or by brain) by the Trump voters in deciding to vote for him than those who blindly followed their “elite” leaders in voting for Clinton.
Trump needs, while minimising the consequences, to rile China, India, France, Germany, Mexico, Canada and a few other “socialist” countries. He did Mexico during the campaign. He continued with India with his apparently effusive telephone conversation with Nawaz Sharif of Pakistan. Now he’s done China. The French/German/British investment in – and creation of – some of the rebel groups now losing in Aleppo has been part of the US strategy disaster in Syria. A losing strategy that Trump will want to move away from. And that he will do by means of contacts with Putin.
It is more unlikely but I would not put it past him to make contact with Iran.
But meeting with the Dalai Lama is an easy decision to take.