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But that’s a minority view. Most China analysts believe Chinese president Xi Jinping feels increasingly confident of his ability to withstand economic pressure from the U.S. and predict the Chinese leader will do almost anything to avoid domestic perceptions that he has surrendered to American bullying.

Why does the subject uses simple present tense when the clause uses present perfect?

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Most China analysts believe Chinese president Xi Jinping feels increasingly confident of his ability to withstand economic pressure from the U.S. and predict the Chinese leader will do almost anything to avoid domestic perceptions that he has surrendered to American bullying.

The tenses are broken down as follows, the phrase uses a combination of present tense, future tense and present perfect:

  • Most China analysts believe - verb PRESENT TENSE
  • Chinese president Xi Jinping feels - verb PRESENT TENSE
  • the Chinese leader - subject and antecedent to pronoun "he"
  • will do - verb FUTURE TENSE
  • almost - adverb modifying a pronoun
  • anything - singular indefinite pronoun
  • to avoid - infinitive
  • domestic perceptions - adjective noun
  • that - subordinate conjunction
  • he has surrendered - pronoun verb PRESENT PERFECT
  • to American bullying - conjunction adjective noun

Present tense

The China analysts hold this belief in the present. They speculate that the Chinese president is feeling something in the present.

Future tense

The Chinese leader has not done anything yet, the fact that he may do almost anything is an event that may happen in the future, hence future use of "will do"

Present perfect

The present perfect is used to express a past event that has present consequences. In the future, the Chinese leader may do something. Now project forward in time, to when this clause is referring to. From that perspective, the Chinese leader as done something (almost anything). The thing that he has done is a past event that has consequences. Hence the present perfect.

So whilst the first part of the sentence is referring to present beliefs and feeling, the second part is projecting into the future (will do) and speculating on an event (almost anything) that has happened forward of today, but in the past relative to where in time the clause is (which could be, for example a year from now).

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