Dining out with China...

Dining out with China...

by Pininvest Analysis

Exposure to US-China Trade on pininvest.com

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Reading characters and inferring thoughts which remain unsaid from facial expressions is a questionable exercise, it is true

But the official dinner photo of the meeting between US and China top representatives, following the G20 meeting in Argentina, December 2018, seems to be telling: we cannot leave it alone

Source Asia Times China-US dinner after G20 meeting in Argentina Dec.1, 2018

On the side of the US delegation, from the back, we have

General Kelly, White House Chief of Staff, looking very, very tired … and, well, entirely uncommitted to the proceedings

The departure of General Kelly from the White House has been predicted times and again, and his withdrawn body language seems to confirm so much


Seated next to General Kelly, Mr. Navarro is Assistant to the President, Director of Trade and Industrial Policy, Director of the White House National Trade Council

Mr. Navarro, well-known for his hawkish positions on China trade, looks most obviously committed, more committed than anyone else at the table, maybe because his ideas have a field day?

By the appearance of it, Mr. Navarro believes in his winning hand in this poker game, rightly or not…


Source Asia Times China-US dinner after G20 meeting in Argentina Dec.1, 2018

Mr. Bolton, seated between Mr. Navarro and Secretary of State Pompeo, is Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs

Mr. Bolton has the unique ability to wear always the same frumpy facial expression, conveying a feeling of deep annoyance at any proceedings, in any circumstance where he is caught on camera

Apparently inscrutable, Mr. Bolton is more probably just looking ahead, weighing the long term consequences of the trade policy of the day

Mr. Bolton is not playing poker – he is playing chess and he is the most Chinese ‘gaijin’ at the dinner table


Mr. Pompeo, Secretary of State, is mostly hidden by Mr. Trump, taking a back seat maybe?


Mr. Trump, well Mr. Trump, obviously a complex character of which so much has been written, none of which should be taken at face value, is talking in the photo shot

Mr. Trump is talking but while he talks, Mr. Trump conveys no facial expression at all

Unusually neutral and bland, Mr. Trump seems to be going through the motions – repeating the US position on trade and listening to himself repeating this position

Which is not much of a promise of anything

Source Asia Times China-US dinner after G20 meeting in Argentina Dec.1, 2018

Facing Mr. Trump, Mr. Xi is obviously listening, looking directly at Mr. Trump, in fact the only one in the Chinese delegation who does

Listening indeed, listening patiently and, apparently, with a fair degree of confidence, Mr. Xi seems determined, looking a couple of moves ahead