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the world that China controls what happens on the Peninsula. But in doing so,


Chang believes Xi may have made a tactical blunder. Throughout the dismal history of Western efforts to halt the Kim dynasty’s head- long pursuit of nuclear weapons, China has always argued the Hermit Kingdom was beyond its control. North Korea is a sov-


670 points — the big- gest one-day point gain since 2008 — following reports that Chinese leaders have begun reaching out to U.S. officials to try to avoid a trade war. Chang believes that


CHINA’S GAMBIT Kim Jong Un, left, meets with Xi Jinping on March 27, 2018.


ereign nation that refuses to kowtow to China, its leaders would claim — despite the fact that China accounts for over 90 percent of its foreign trade, and also provides vital food and oil for the North Korean populace. But anyone who witnessed how


readily China brought North Korea to heel would now find that hard to believe.


Robert E. Kelly, an associate pro-


fessor of diplomacy at Pusan National University in South Korea, remarked: “Next time the Chinese ministry of foreign affairs says the real issue is between the U.S. and North Korea, and that China is just a mediator or just wants stability, we will know they are lying.” Chang praises Trump’s decision


to hold face-to-face negotiations with Kim, which he says prompted the Kim-Xi visit. Rather than continue to play diplomatic hide-and-seek, China was forced to exercise its authority — and in doing so may have played right into Trump’s hands. Pang Zhongying, a North Korean


expert in Beijing, told The New York Times: “Kim Jong Un’s visit shows that China is not marginalized, but playing a leading role. This saves China a lot of face.” Trump also seems to be winning


the war on trade. The day before the Kim-Xi meeting, the Dow jumped


China is “very con- cerned” it would be “very vulnerable” should a trade war with the United States break out, adding: “I think Trump understands that he


actually has the leverage. Therefore I don’t think the Chinese really want to take him on.” Chang, the author of The Coming


Collapse of China and Nuclear Show- down: North Korea Takes on the World, sees the developments over trade and negotiations with China and North Korea as indications “we’re winning” the struggle over trade and nuclear weapons. He suspects China and North


Korea have made careful note of Trump’s decision to purge foreign pol- icy centrists, such as former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster. Trump’s secretary of state nomi- nee, Mike Pompeo, is known for his


tough stance on Iran. “You’ve basi- cally got a war Cabinet in place now,” he says. “I would think the Chinese have got to be concerned about that.” So far, it looks like Trump’s will-


ingness to get tough with North Korea is paying off. He notes that North Korea appeared “exceedingly dangerous” when Trump took office last year, a situation now markedly improved. “From a foreign policy perspec-


tive,” Chang says, “Trump has done very well over the last couple of months. I think what we’re seeing right now is a very effective foreign policy, especially considering what went on in prior administrations.” He calls Trump’s willingness to


meet with Kim “brilliant foreign pol- icy,” adding: “The North Koreans actually gave up a lot in order to entice Trump to the summit. Trump has given up relatively little.” Chang urges U.S. leaders to use


every tool at their disposal short of military force to denuclearize the North Korean peninsula, including the sanctioning of “law-breaking Chi- nese banks” accused of facilitating transactions for the North Koreans. And while it’s too soon to say if


peace will break out on the Korean Peninsula, he adds, “So far, this has been very good foreign policy.”


Korean Conundrum: ‘Let’s Try It the Donald Trump-John Bolton Way’


O


ne possible reason for the North Koreans’ newfound willingness to come to the bargaining table: Trump’s new national security adviser, former U.N.


Ambassador John Bolton, who has a reputation as an unapologetic hawk. The hue and cry in establishment circles that greeted Bolton’s March appointment was a sight to behold. Democratic Rep. Joaquin Castro, citing Bolton’s arrival, warned Trump “is determined to go to war.” His colleague, Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters, branded Bolton “a dangerous man.” But South Carolina GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham offered Fox News a quite different


take, saying Trump “has gotten them to the table. Nobody else was able to do it.” Added Graham: “We tried it the Jimmy Carter way for about 30 years. Let’s


try it the Donald Trump-John Bolton way. I’m very excited about what could happen.” —D.P.


MAY 2018 | NEWSMAX 11


MEETING/AFP/GETTY IMAGES


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