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Chinese state media sought to reinject Beijing into the conversation following Tuesday’s historic summit between North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un and U.S. President Donald Trump, suggesting Americans “borrow some wisdom from Eastern philosophy” and abandon “unrealistic ideas” that the U.S. will not need China to mediate with Pyongyang.
Most of the commentary from government media on Wednesday morning local time arrived via the Global Times, which Beijing often uses as an unofficial mouthpiece. Several columns in the newspaper appeared to tepidly praise the summit between Trump and Kim while warning that, without Chinese intervention, any attempt at rehabilitating the bilateral relationship would be a failure.
Column - Trump - Ideas - Washington - Beijing
One column warned Trump away from “unrealistic ideas” that Washington could soon render Beijing irrelevant in North Korean foreign policy.
“Trump may have to abandon unrealistic ideas that the US can become the main protagonist in North Korea’s economic story,” the Times warned. “The North Korean economy remains vulnerable following years of sanctions, so aid and investments are needed to rebuild its economy. The US and Europe are likely to be important sources of investment for North Korea if the UN Security Council loosens economic sanctions, but it is North Korea’s neighbors in Asia – such as China and South Korea – that will be main external drivers of North Korea’s economic rise.”
Article - China - North - Korea - Infrastructure
The article goes on to suggest that China and North Korea should cooperate on infrastructure, a subtle nod to China’s One Belt, One Road (OBOR) plan to dominate the global infrastructure market. The Chinese government has established plans to build ports, roads, and other key infrastructure largely in developing countries, indebting the countries to them in such a way that they can ultimately control the projects they build. North Korea would be a natural expansion of the project, which multiple U.S. officials have derided as “predatory.”
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