The CSCL Indian Ocean container ship, operated by China COSCO Shipping Corp Ltd., stands on the dockside at the Port of Felixstowe Ltd., a subsidiary of CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd., in Felixstowe, U.K. (Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg)

China to Seal Deal With ‘Rationally Crazy’ Trump Soon as Friday

(Bloomberg) -- China will seal a trade deal with "rationally crazy" Donald Trump as early as Friday, or soon after, because both sides want a resolution to their dispute, according to Li Daokui, a former adviser to China’s central bank.

"President Trump appears to be crazy but I call him rationally crazy - he wants to squeeze a better deal for the US," Li told Bloomberg Television in an interview in Beijing Wednesday. “The two sides, President Trump and China, at the end of the day are rational.”

China to Seal Deal With ‘Rationally Crazy’ Trump Soon as Friday

Trump’s weekend tweets threatening to slap additional tariffs on China from Friday show he’s trying to get a better deal, said Li, who runs the Center for China in the World Economy at Tsinghua University in Beijing. Trump wants to appear “to be tough in front of American political stakeholders but at the end of the day he wants a deal. Chinese side also wants a deal.”

While 90 percent or more of what the U.S. wants from China in terms of trade concessions is consistent with the goals of China’s own domestic reforms, the language in any deal must leave enough dignity for the Chinese side, he said.

“China does not want to be perceived as being bullied by the U.S.,” he said. “The negotiators on the U.S. side are much too legalistic. They are not taking enough account of the Chinese political situation.”

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