APEC tensions; Trade deal speculation a waste of time; Digital dang'an
Are President Trump and Vice President Pence playing a “good cop-bad cop” role when it comes to China? With his recent speech at the APEC meeting Pence has now given two speeches in about six weeks that lay out very muscular and hard-line approaches to China. The gap between China and the US was on clear display at the APEC summit, and for the first time the meeting did not issue a communique.
It is increasingly hard to be optimistic about the upcoming meeting between Trump and Xi Jinping, but the Chinese are still trying to find ways to effect a ceasefire. Liu He however may not be visiting the US before the G20; the South China Morning Post now says the US and Chinese teams will meet in Argentina ahead of the G-20.
As Axios’ Jonathan Swan wrote last night:
Nobody in the Trump administration has any idea how that meeting will play out — including Trump himself, according to sources who've discussed it with him.
Pence gave a hawkish interview last week to the Washington Post's Josh Rog…