North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un waves before boarding his train at the Dong Dang railway station in Lang Son on March 2. Photo: Vietnam News Agency/AFP
Philip J. Cunningham
Opinion

Opinion

Philip J. Cunningham

The Trump-Kim summit failed, but Kim Jong-un’s China train trek taught us the truth about Beijing’s role

  • When Kim, surrounded by lavish praise and rapt attention, took care to avoid dropping cigarette ash or a match on his host’s land, it was a reminder that China’s place atop the hierarchy of communist East Asia is as strong as ever

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North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un waves before boarding his train at the Dong Dang railway station in Lang Son on March 2. Photo: Vietnam News Agency/AFP
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Philip J. Cunningham

Philip J. Cunningham

Philip J. Cunningham has been a regular visitor to China since 1983, working variously as a tour guide, TV producer, freelance writer, independent scholar and teacher. He has conducted media research in China as a Knight Fellow and Fulbright Scholar and was the recipient of a Nieman Fellowship at Harvard. He is the author of Tiananmen Moon, a first-hand account of the 1989 protests in Beijing.