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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[North Korea is trying to make the nuclear talks all about Trump and Kim. But history shows that professionals must lay the groundwork first.] Leaders can change the whole trajectory of bilateral ties … but this is the first time we have seen Kim directly interact with the president.