Ryan Hass, a fellow in the John L. Thornton China Center and the Center for East Asia Policy Studies at Brookings, discusses two important announcements that may be lost in the focus on the U.S.-North Korea standoff: China’s announcement that it will ban North Korea’s top export items; and the Trump administration’s announcement that it will begin the process of determining if China is engaging in unfair trade practices.
Hass says that despite President Trump’s “fire and fury” comment, “the fundamentals of the situation on the Korean peninsula have not changed,” and that the U.S.-China relationship remains the “most consequential bilateral relationship” in the world.
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Pyongyang is likely to continue to make choices driven chiefly by its own interests and strategic timetables. China has never been able to dictate North Korea’s actions.