Since the world hadn’t blown up after a whole 72 hours, I assumed the Mar-a-Lago China summit was just another pointless Trumpstunt. Should’ve known, by now, that all statements about Trump’s actions should be ended with the caveat “… yet.”
Today, in the Wall Street Journal:
President Donald Trump said Wednesday he has offered Chinese President Xi Jinping a more favorable trade deal for Beijing in exchange for his help on confronting the threat of North Korea.
Mr. Trump, in a wide-ranging interview with The Wall Street Journal, said he would accept, for instance, a trade deal with China that does less to address trade deficits…
Mr. Trump also said his administration won’t label China a currency manipulator in a report due this week, despite promises he made on the campaign trail. Mr. Trump said China has stopped manipulating its currency and that it was more important to focus on cooperation with China on North Korea…
Earlier in the day, China described the call somewhat differently and didn’t link trade and North Korea as issues. The foreign ministry said Mr. Xi noted that both sides had numerous mechanisms in place for high-level dialogue and mentioned the two sides’ agreement on a “100-day action plan” on trade, which previous official Chinese accounts had ignored…
Mr. Trump described his relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin as nonexistent, but said he developed a warm rapport with Mr. Xi after their first meeting last week at his estate in south Florida.
He said they hit it off during their first discussion. Mr. Trump said he told his Chinese counterpart he believed Beijing could easily take care of the North Korea threat. Mr. Xi then explained the history of China and Korea, Mr. Trump said.
“After listening for 10 minutes, I realized it’s not so easy,” Mr. Trump recounted. “I felt pretty strongly that they had a tremendous power” over North Korea,” he said. “But it’s not what you would think.”
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said that at the Mar-a-Lago summit, both presidents had agreed to keep in closer touch through phone calls and meetings.
Mr. Chu said he didn’t believe the U.S. would take military action against North Korea, noting that Pyongyang could retaliate with lethal force against U.S. ally South Korea.
So Mr. Chu assumes — or is willing to say on the record — that the U.S. military doesn’t necessarily take its orders from that ranty dude in the Oval Office. At least not without a cooling-off period, length to be determined. Because, after all, Ranty Dude is a senile idiot, easily distracted by any shiny object or vagrant idea!
Apart from [headdesk]-ing, what’s on the agenda for the evening?