The mercurial US president’s business background isn’t to blame for his growing list of contingencies in China talks. Rather, these conditions – from Hong Kong to North Korea and opioids – reflect core US interests and will outlast Trump.
The US president has his finger on the pulse of growing American dissatisfaction with their country’s trade relationship with China, a sentiment particularly strong among voters in key swing states.
If China has ambitions of playing a greater role on the global stage, it must use its influence to ensure that North Korea denuclearises.
If Kim Jong-un’s regime has no intent to give up its nuclear arsenal, or if it wants a more gradual process, then it’s better to find out now than at his meeting with Trump.
If the nuclear crisis is to be resolved, Beijing, Washington and Seoul must demonstrate a unity of purpose when negotiating with the North Korean leader.