In this high-stakes game of trade poker, Donald Trump doesn’t particularly want to break ZTE–but Xi Jinping very much wants to preserve it.
All signs are that Kim wants a deal–a deal that could make his country (and his dynasty) more stable, more secure and potentially much richer.
Xi and Trump are unconventional leaders who are willing to push the limits to get what they want.
Rason could in theory act as the saltwater terminus of a 50 mile (80 km.) trimodal transport corridor from Jilin province’s Hunchun inland port to the wide Pacific Ocean.
News on the street is that Chinese investment is quietly pouring into India, much of it below the radar screen because it is channeled in via third countries.
Xi now has more power than any Chinese leader in decades, but he still can’t change the laws of economics.
Economically speaking, China can’t afford a trade war with the United States, but politically speaking, Trump can’t afford one either.
The unstated aim seems to be to get inefficient and often corrupt Communist Party apparatchiks out of the business of government.
The only certain thing in the North Korean nuclear story is that everyone involved in it—the North Koreans, the Western experts, the political analysts, the news media and the U.S. government—has a vested interest in believing it.
Without any organized opponents, Xi may ultimately find himself heading a faction of one.
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