s we noted on Day #1, if we watch how Beijing scripts the messaging we should be able to identify if Chairman Xi Jinping is taking the dragon approach toward his captive Kim Jong Un, or if Xi would instead reshape the geopolitics by announcing his release of Kim as a hostage: The magnanimous panda approach. [Critical Background HERE and HERE]
It looks like we have an answer today as Chairman Xi writes a personal op-ed, published on the front page of North Korea’s state newspaper, where Xi is releasing Kim from proxy province captivity:
…”China supports North Korea’s “correct direction” in politically resolving issues on the Korean Peninsula.”…
Yes, though important details are yet to follow, it appears Beijing is acquiescing to the unrelenting pressure from hostage rescuer President Donald Trump and allowing the DPRK to exit the controlled captivity of China. Likely denuclearization will commence.
SEOUL (Reuters) – Chinese President Xi Jinping said in an op-ed in North Korean state newspaper Rodong Sinmun on Wednesday that China supports North Korea’s “correct direction” in politically resolving issues on the Korean Peninsula.
The front-page op-ed is an honor rarely granted to foreign leaders and comes a day before Xi is set to visit Pyongyang on Thursday and Friday at the invitation of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, making him the first Chinese leader to visit in 14 years.[…] Xi’s visit kicks off a flurry of high-level diplomatic activity around the Korean Peninsula ahead of the G20 summit in Japan later this month. Xi said the two Asian countries will “strengthen our strategic communication and exchanges,” adding that China will firmly support Kim’s achievements in “socialist construction” aimed at economic development and improving people’s lives, according to the newspaper.
Xi said North Korea and China would expand and develop relations in civilian sectors, including education, culture, sports, tourism, youth and rural areas.
“We will actively contribute to peace, stability, development and prosperity in the region by strengthening communication and coordination with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea,” Xi said. China will also engage with other stakeholders “by jointly expediting progress on dialogue and negotiations on the issues of the Korean peninsula,” he added. (read more)
We now enter a phase of great nuance and subtle signaling where we will need to carefully evaluate the scale of hostage release. Obviously western media -writ large- are oblivious to the multidimensional hostage dynamic; heck, most major western media don’t even acknowledge that China controls North Korea… So we have a front row seat to review the generally coded signals.
Two days ago (Monday) Beijing announced Chairman Xi and South Korean President Moon Jae-in were scheduled for a bilateral meeting at the G20 (Osaka, Japan – June 28th and 29th). Obviously Xi has a plan to position the best face for his magnanimous panda approach. We also know on the issue of DPRK hostage release, Chairman Xi will need to save face against President Trump very carefully (hence the phone call between Xi and Trump on Tuesday).
One way for Xi to avoid the appearance of acquiescence to Trump would be for Xi, with Beijing approval, to place the optic of victory at the feet of Moon Jae-in. As we noted from the outset the most likely scenario is China positioning themselves as magnanimous panda and South Korea as the beneficiary. Hence the pre-planned G20 meeting.
Ultimately, I don’t think President Trump really cares about who gets credit for the victory, hostage release of Chairman Kim, and denuclearization of North Korea. The world will know, though the media will not say, the victory is only because President Trump has outwitted Chairman Xi and his communist regime…. and Trump did that though strategic economic pressure.
For two-and-a-half years U.S. President Trump has been working on two connected objectives: (1) removing the threat posed by North Korea by severing the ability of Beijing to use the proxy province as a weapon (Kim is hostage to China); and (2) deconstructing the growing economic influence of China.
I only hope this is half true. While the left loves the prospect of Trump’s failure, even when it means N. Korea threatening the world with nuclear weapons or China taking over much of the world’s economy while becoming militarily dominant, his success means greater peace and stability for the region and the world, as well as more economic growth for the US.