President Donald Trump returned to Washington from his 12-day trip to Asia just yesterday. Trump had barely set foot back in the White House before taking to Twitter to slam the mainstream media, specifically the New York Times, for failing to recognize that he had “developed a great relationship” China’s President, Xi Jinping. Of course, we are used to seeing Trump laud his apparent successes, and he has recently praised Xi Jinping on his “extraordinary elevation” by taking total and absolute control over China during the recent Communist Party Congress.
There can be little doubt that President Trump needs to develop stronger relations with countries like China. Trump has repeatedly said that he believes that China holds the key to solving the crisis between the U.S. and North Korea. Earlier today President Trump used his favorite means of communication, Twitter, to praise China for sending an “envoy and delegation” to North Korea.
As reported by CNN, President Trump has been pressuring China to do more to break the standoff between Washington and North Korea over the rogue nations nuclear weapons program. China is, of course, North Korea’s only ally and its major trading partner, so Trump needs China to enforce the sanctions aimed at starving the North Korean weapons program of the cash it needs.
Experts are, however, warning that the Chinese delegation may not be carrying out the mission that Trump hopes they will. In fact, just 24-hours after Trump’s return to Washington, China is already contradicting him over North Korea. Business Insider report that “China seems to have rejected the idea” of forcing North Korea to denuclearize. Trump claims that he and Xi Jinping have rejected the idea of a so-called bi-lateral “freeze-for-freeze” agreement with North Korea. In essence, this means that North Korea would agree to stop further development of nuclear weapons if the U.S. agreed to cut back troop numbers in the region and stop conducting war games with South Korea and Japan.
President Trump has indicated that he will not agree to such a deal as they “have consistently failed in the past.” It isn’t hard to see why Trump would not support such a deal. After all, North Korea is a hermit state, so it would be difficult to verify that they were actually honoring the terms of any such deal.
Earlier today, Geng Shuang, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, reiterated that China favored a “freeze-for-freeze” deal, saying that it was the “most feasible, fair, and sensible plan in the present situation.” If Geng Shuang’s comments represent the will of Xi Jinping, then it would appear that China sees the resolution of the North Korea problem very differently to Donald Trump.
As reported by the Daily Mail, the conflict between the U.S. and North Korea won’t be helped by the fact that the U.S. has three aircraft carrier battle groups and a reported 14,000 troops in the region for a 10-day military exercise with Japanese and South Korean forces.
As much as Donald Trump would like to claim that the North Korean issue has been resolved, it would seem that tensions are far from over.