China, the Spectre Haunting the Singapore Talks

China, the Spectre Haunting the Singapore Talks, by Steven Mosher.

The Chinese are reportedly pulling out all the stops in their efforts to spy on President Donald Trump and his delegation in Singapore. They are not only worried about losing their North Korean vassal state, but they are also seeking to learn as much as they can about Trump’s negotiating techniques.

You see, they understand that they are next. …

Now that the sanctions — and Trump’s multiple threats of military action — have brought Kim Jong-un to the negotiating table, Xi Jinping is starting to feel the ground shifting under his feet.

I believe that Trump in Singapore will finally end the Korean War, replacing the armistice that was signed way back in 1953 with a permanent peace treaty. For this alone he will deserve — although he will not get — the Nobel Peace Prize.

It is even possible, though this will take more than one meeting, that Trump will convince Kim to toss away his nuclear weapons in return for an end to the sanctions crippling the North Korean economy, combined with a normalization of diplomatic and trade relations with South Korea, Japan, and the United States …

These prospects are horrifying to the Chinese on multiple levels.

First of all, it will weaken China’s hand vis-à-vis the United States by taking away its ability to play the North Korea card. In the past, every time U.S.-Chinese relations seem headed for rough waters, Beijing brings up North Korea. They lecture us on how much we need them to help “rein in” that rogue nuclear state. …

It is also very much to Beijing’s advantage to keep North Korea poor and dependent. A North Korean buffer state increases China’s influence in the region, keeps the Korean Peninsula weak and divided and, most importantly, keeps American troops away from the Yalu River, which borders China. …

Kim Jong-un was forced to decide whether he wanted to remain China’s puppet or take his country in a new direction.

hat-tip Stephen Neil