The world is waiting and watching as Donald Trump moves out of the shadows of elections into the gaze of appointing a cabinet and identifying policies.
China will want a good and positive relationship – a new “major power “ relationship.
But Trump has not been kind to China in his electioneering, and, although China is used to this over many elections, they do not ignore what is said.
There are many balloons sent out by Trump, pulling back on support to NATO, pulling back on military support to Japan and South Korea, even finding an accommodation with Putin through to floating a new definition of Europe including Russia.
Much has yet to be clarified.
But receiving Prime Minister Abe of Japan as his first foreign guest will not have enamoured China. China will not engage in a race for being favourites. Abe may yet come to regret being first to tie his horse to the new administration. Japan may prefer to sit and see what Trump turns out to be.
The first issue has arisen over Climate Change. Trump accusing the whole thing of being a Chinese trick and the Chinese displaying that it started with the Republicans in the USA.
It is going to take time to play out but USA Presidents sometimes try to cower China initially, but, after a scrap like the Bush spy plane, they back off to a more accommodating position.
We shall see what the Trump administration is really about in the next six months, but we have already seen China show its teeth.
Abe may want to go and pay his respects to his new leader. I doubt Xi would do that any time soon, instead waiting for a normal time to meet.
It would be a strange quirk of fate for Obama and Clinton to end up on the same side as China dealing with Trump!
There is little doubt that the USA will remain the most powerful and influential nation in the world. But there way of expressing it will change. Any nation that takes for granted America’s demise would be foolish.
Any nation that depends on American policies must wait to see what they will be and not indulge in wishful thinking.
Brexit is now up in the air as the external world’s form is going to take two or more years to form, as the USA tries its new clothes on.
If you want a historical reference – try Bretton Woods in 1944 and the removal of the gold standard in 1971 which both had ramifications lasting over 20 years before they were clear.
For China, the UK and Europe, including Russia, and Eurasia the rest of history is just beginning.
A lot to find out in the weeks ahead, and we need to avoid premature conclusions.
This is likely to be a change of American tactics not strategy but with profound effect on the world. But the world may not be as acquiescent as in 1944.