China does not want the U.S. military taking unilateral action in Syria. Beijing has long said it prefers a multilateral approach, though over the course of six brutal years of war it has repeatedly used its veto power to vote with Russia against United Nations Security Council resolutions on Syria ..
.. a call for sanctions over the use of chemical weapons.
.. Xi does not like surprises. Top Chinese leaders exist in a world where public appearances are tightly choreographed, the press is controlled and protocol is paramount. During the weeks of planning and negotiation that went into the Mar-a-Lago summit, every interaction and angle would have been discussed — from the handshake, to media availability, to the possibility of a rogue Trump tweet.
.. On Thursday night, conservative U.S. media painted the Syria hit as a bold but calculated warning. “He’s sending a message to the Chinese,”
.. Global Times, a Communist Party-controlled newspaper known for its nationalist tone, also saw the move as a projection of strength. In an editorial, the paper said Trump launched the strike “to establish his authority as the U.S. president.”