Donald Trump is a threat to many things such as democracy, America’s sovereignty, and civil rights, to name a few. It is difficult to predict just how varied and nuanced Trump’s impact will be on America, but I think it is safe to assume there will be some damaging consequences globally as well. Despite Trump’s attempts at isolationism, we can already see his actions are encouraging a blatant show of tyranny the world over. Not only do we have the recent murder of American journalist Jamal Khashoggi, suspected to have been brazenly carried out by the Saudi Kingdom, but we have seen a trend towards authoritarianism and nationalist movements all over the globe.
Either consciously or not, Trump has released some kind of villainous bat signal to the rest of the world’s dictators that they can act terribly, without the fear of consequences. An excellent example of this is the President of China, Xi Jinping. President Xi is known for his background in economics and has favored the policies of Deng Xiaoping, who led his country toward a pro-capitalist vision of China. Xi has set ambitious goals for China’s economy and seems caught by surprise by Trump’s dogged adherence to the tariffs he has imposed on Chinese exports.
This punch to China’s economy came at the wrong time for Xi, who looks to be reeling from the setbacks, and is now scrambling to stimulate China’s economy to prop up its rate of growth. However, Trump is not the only one to blame for China’s struggles, as President Xi himself has turned his back on conventional methods of ensuring a reliable environment for growth. Instead he has let his strong Communist Party leanings begin to steer the ship, which scares potential investors.
President Xi has risen high within the ranks of the party and as his power solidifies, his autocratic nature begins to reveal itself. Unfortunately, it appears this kind of behavior is “safe” in a world where Trump prevails. This year China’s free press rating dropped, and Xi is penalizing his opponents under the guise of breaking down on graft. And even as Trump raises taxes on Chinese imports, he congratulates Xi on his power grab within the Communist Party.