By CHRISTOPHER BODEEN and JOE McDONALDBEIJING (AP) — Donald Trump is a mixed blessing for Chinese leaders. Trump's threats to tear up trade deals and hike tariffs on Chinese goods look ominous. If carried out, they could chill thriving commercial ties at a time when Beijing is struggling to shore up economic growth. At the same time, Trump's suggestion he might reduce Washington's global strategic presence to focus on domestic issues would be a gift to Chinese leaders. They could expand their political and military profile in East Asia with less risk of conflict. ___ The incoming Trump administration faces the task of maintaining influence in the face of rising Chinese strategic ambitions while accommodating Asian countries that are being drawn into Beijing's economic orbit. That calls for more nimble diplomacy that transcends the security-focused "pivot to Asia" and caters to countries' desire for a balanced relationship between Washington and Beijing, analysts say. It will require greater economic and diplomatic engagement, drawing on America's soft power assets in culture, media and education. China is "without doubt trying to subvert American alliances and relationships," including in Europe, Australia and South Korea, said Michael Montesano, a research fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore. That's been abetted by "depressingly unimaginative" U.S. diplomacy in Asia that is focused too narrowly on military alliances and is now hobbled by Washington's failure to advance the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade pact, Montesano said. Over U.S. objections, Beijing has moved to cement its claim to most of the South China Sea, including by building artificial islands and military airstrips atop coral reefs. On strategic issues, Chinese researchers have "come around to the view that Donald Trump is better for China," said Paul Haenle, director of the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center at Tsinghua University in Beijing. "There is a sense among many that Donald Trump will draw inward," said Haenle. "This is music to their ears, because this means that the United States might not put pressure on China in the region."