With just one day to go until the Trump administration launches the first salvo in what could develop into a full-scale trade war between the US and China, there is the issue of a diplomatic (hopefully) resolution of escalating situation in North Korea, one which Citi today said is “increasingly likely” to involve military action. On this issue, China is becoming increasingly displeased with Trump’s relentless twitter badgering, and as AFP reports, “Trump-style outbursts are no way to get China to bend to the US’s will.”
The animosity between D.C. and Beijing has been building up for months, as the two capitals have long traded blame over the failure to rein in the North, but last week’s breakthrough in North Korean missile technology has raised the specter of a strike by Pyongyang on American cities, escalating the rhetoric.
“I am very disappointed in China,” President Donald Trump tweeted after the North boasted last week that the entire mainland US was within range of its intercontinental ballistic missiles. “Our foolish past leaders have allowed them to make hundreds of billions of dollars a year in trade, yet they do NOTHING for us with North Korea, just talk.”
While China – North Korea’s main trade partner and ally – has repeatedly countered that it does not hold the key to the crisis and has rejected Trump’s attempts to link the issue to the trade relationship, keeping official responses to Trump’s 140-character outbursts restrained, state media has been less muted.
“Trump is quite a personality,” an opinion piece published Monday by the Xinhua state news agency said. “But emotional venting cannot become a guiding policy for solving the nuclear issue … and even less should (the US) stab China in the back.”
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