Both China and India are fiercely nationalistic societies, large segments of whose populations believe that after centuries of oppression their time has come. The high visibility of the ongoing standoff gives Xi and Modi little room to maneuver. Neither leader can afford to be seen as weak by his supporters.
China’s harsh language over a border standoff shows it has no intention of treating India as an equal.
Instead of framing the disagreement with India as a legitimate dispute, Beijing has chosen to dismiss or mock New Delhi’s concerns that Chinese road-building on the Doklam plateau, claimed by both China and the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, changes the status quo in a way that India cannot afford to ignore.
President Trump is looking for ways to press China to cooperate on further isolating North Korea. The 1996 Helms-Burton Act provides a great historical precedent for how he could accomplish this.
Yes, it is good when the leaders of the two largest economies on the planet bond, at least publicly, and comity prevails in the working sessions. But there are still major issues between the two countries that are both daunting and even intractable.
Duterte’s hostility to the United States is well known, but President Trump’s failure to even pay lip service to the alliance will only encourage China in its quest to displace American power in Asia.
A North Korean crisis different from all the others is on its way—if it isn’t here already.
Since his inauguration last June, Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte has been a perpetual thorn in the side of the United States. Under his watch, the longtime U.S. ally has cozied up to China while reversing recent advances in the U.S.-Philippines security relationship.
President Trump and President Xi sit down for an expanded bilateral meeting that comes in the shadow of Trump’s decision to launch missiles against Syria. The Chinese may have to change their thoughts about Trump due to Trump’s ability to pivot on a dime and act decisively.
Xi Jinping may take advantage of an inexperienced and untested American leader.