So the theme of this week has been pretty domestic – not a ton going on in the world of foreign affairs (jk there’s always a ton going on but not on the issues I’ve been following/have the knowledge to speak on) but there have been some interesting developments. The next couple weeks will be interesting though – Trump is going to China, and the tax plan has (gasp) international consequences!
Trump left for a 12-day trip to Asia today – the longest Presidential trip to the region since Nixon. Taken with the context of North Korea and the recent Party Congress in Beijing, the trip should yield some interesting developments. Xi Jinping will be emboldened – he’s been enshrined in the Constitution in the style of Mao Zedong and has virtually no overt opposition. (Caution: there are whispers that he’s not as strong as he looks, but he does look VERY strong.)
Trump and Xi have met twice already – once in April at Mar-a-Lago (~the winter white house~) and once at the G20 summit in Germany. Both times, Trump urged Xi to act on NK. Both times, Trump urged Xi to act on NK, and both times had a friendly discussion with the Chinese leader. Xi played it safe – biding his time, knowing that in just a few months he would have a stronger position at home to deal with matters abroad, all the while sizing up Donald Trump.
Now, Trump heads to China, again with a plan to urge Xi to stop North Korea, and perhaps even to take a firmer stance. He has no idea what he’s walking into. What will happen? Who knows. Trump may strike a deal with Xi to get him to do something about NK – give up on the South China Sea, look the other way on Taiwan, sweeten a trade deal. More likely, though, is that Trump will get no concrete promises about NK, and may get a few jobs in the US. Either way, I bet it’ll be “the best deal”. #fpf