TOKYO - There are probably days when Chinese President Xi Jinping can’t believe his luck when it comes to geopolitical adversaries.
First Xi squared off against proud neophyte Donald Trump. The US president thrashed about wildly trying to slow China’s economic rise. Yet Trump’s team failed to notice the myriad ways in which Xi outflanked those efforts at every turn.
They include a trade surplus that was bigger in January 2021 than when Trump won the election in November 2016.
Now Xi may be realizing the blessing that Yoshihide Suga is proving to be in Tokyo.
Though Suga has been on the job only 138 days, a Covid-19 third wave has Japanese growth cratering almost as rapidly as the prime minister’s approval ratings. At about 33%, Suga’s support is barely better than Trump’s when he left the White House on January 20.