US-China Trade Talks; Kim-Xi To Meet In Beijing?; South China Sea; John Bolton On The "Taiwan Card"; Gaokao Reforms
Apologies for the late newsletter today, I am a bit under the weather.
Two big news items today are Kim Jung Un's visit to Beijing, his first ever as head of North Korea, and reports of talks between the US and China to avert a trade war.
Beijing clearly wants to get on the same page with Kim before his planned meeting with Trump. How Beijing got him to come is an interesting question. Did they threaten him with tougher sanctions? Did they offer concessions? Either way, the visit makes it much harder to argue that Beijing has limited influence over Kim.
I had heard last week about the US-China discussions, including an exchange of letters between Liu He and Steve Mnuchin and Robert Lighthizer but obliquely mentioned them in my newsletter Friday. There is a chance a full-blown trade war can be averted, at least in the near term. The Chinese side wants to deal. From my Axios China newsletter Friday:
My thought bubble: During his visit to Washington at the beginning of March, Liu He, now a v…