Why Trump and Xi must set egos aside: the world is at stake

    PUBLISHED : Friday, 30 November, 2018, 5:01pm
    UPDATED : Friday, 30 November, 2018, 7:56pm

    I refer to Stephen Roach’s article, “Four ways Beijing and Washington could mend ties” (November 28).

    Roach is a respected economist and his four suggested ways are pragmatic and useful. But l would like to suggest another way to handle this impasse. Let me use a parable to highlight my method to resolve this seemingly intractable issue.

    In ancient China, two swordsmen were ready to fight for the title “Swordsman of Heaven and Earth”. You may ask, why did they fight for this title? The answer is simple: each of them had their own ego which drove them to pursue excellence in their unique skills to beat their opponent.

    In our age, the swordsmen are Xi Jinping and Donald Trump. In the past, swordsmen might kill each other. So it was a tragedy for them alone. But now, the outcome may be quite different, as their fight may affect billions of people – not just the two leaders or two countries but the world at large.

    Will US-China co-dependency end in a messy divorce?

    Ideological conflict and Xi’s determination to challenge the United States has rung the death knell for the engagement strategy designed by US president Richard Nixon in the 1970s. I believe it is time for the two swordsmen to drop their egos for the time being. If they cannot, then sensible compromise and reconciliation can never be arrived at.

    The two leaders should set aside their anger and resolve their divergences for the well-being of the world. Let me quote a poem by Li Bai: “This little boat has sailed beyond ten thousand mountain ranges, amid the continuous cries of monkeys on both sides of the river”. In fact, nothing is impossible.

    Lo Wai Kong, Yau Ma Tei