One of the notable aspects of this trip [to China and other countries in Asia] is the paucity of outcomes it produced. ... It appears Donald Trump invested a lot of energy into developing good chemistry with other leaders, but we haven’t yet seen that translate into good outcomes for U.S. citizens.
Drawing "red lines" for North Korea would be ill advised. For one, "red lines" imply a certain automaticity of response without regard for situational factors that cannot be accounted for in advance. Drawing "red lines" also implies that any North Korean action just short of the line would be viewed as tolerable and unlikely to elicit a sharp U.S. response, thus creating an unintended dynamic of signaling that certain North Korean provocations would be acceptable as long as they didn’t cross the "red line." In this sense, a certain degree of strategic ambiguity serves the interest of sobering North Korean behavior.
Rather than publicly articulating a "red line," the better focus of U.S. government attention would be to forge strong internal clarity on what top national interests it must protect on the Korean Peninsula. In the case of North Korea, the United States should concentrate on protecting the U.S. homeland against attack or blackmail of an attack, preventing proliferation of nuclear or missile technology from North Korea, upholding the credibility of alliance commitments, and preventing war. Protecting these top interests should be the focus of U.S. efforts, not defending an arbitrary line and thereby creating expectations of an automatic and overwhelming response if the arbitrary line is crossed.
The dual-freeze approach is China's attempt at buck-passing and moral equivalency between U.S. actions and North Korean actions. ... Buck-passing in the sense that Beijing is not making a genuine effort to leverage a freeze. They are making a genuine effort to pin responsibility on the United States.
CCTV News reported Brookings-Tsinghua Center and interviewed Qi Ye, director of the Brookings-Tsinghua Center. To watch the original video please click on the CCTV link below.
I am closely watching this. This standard is the real test of how serious the Obama climate action plan really is...If the standard is really stringent, that will make a difference in the domestic debate in China...It will have an impact.
The political earthquake in Beijing this year has been the Bo Xilai affair ... There are some people in China who I’m sure feel that all of that was a set up by the U.S. government to embarrass the leaders.