Things are going swimmingly, strategically, seemingly according to plan. When the full measure of history allows time to review, observers will note the strategic victory was achieved on August 5th, 2017; that’s the original date when Russia and China agreed to the U.N. Security Council sanctions against North Korea. That first, historic, Russia and China U.N. Security Council vote against North Korea came as a result of eight months of assembled economic leverage created by President Donald Trump.
As a result of this ongoing strategy, every time North Korea’s Kim Jong-un takes an action, President Trump hits China’s Xi Jinping with an additional economic squeeze. As Beijing feels the squeeze, they tell Kim Jong-un to act. Every time Kim Jong-un acts, President Trump squeezes Beijing with more economic pressure. Wash-Rinse-Repeat.
Communist Beijing has boxed themselves into this inescapable cycle. The only way out of the box is to concede and lay the DPRK defeat at the feet of Kim Jong-un. The conceding will evidence itself when Beijing inevitably calls for ‘Six Party Talks‘. Today:
(Via Associated Press) Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi says his country will “fully and completely” abide by U.N. Security Council sanctions resolutions on North Korea.
Wang told reporters Wednesday China would work with other members of the council on how best to react to North Korea’s launch of a ballistic missile over Japan on Tuesday.
He says, “We will make a necessary response.”
While acknowledging long-standing ties between the Pyongyang and Beijing, Wang says China was compelled to act to guard against further instability. China accounts for around 90 percent of North Korea’s foreign trade and has provided limited diplomatic cover for its actions, despite growing increasingly frustrated at continued provocations.
The latest sanctions hit Chinese businesses hard by way of a ban on North Korean exports of coal, iron, lead and seafood products, together worth over $1 billion for a country with total exports valued at just $3 billion last year. (link)
REMINDER Looking at the geopolitical landscape, and the known and identified calendar of upcoming events, we discover a likely Trump Administration timeline to achieve their goal:
♦We know President Trump is planning to attend an ASEAN meeting in November.
♦We also know that President Trump is planning to visit China later this year. Most likely that trip will be part of the ASEAN engagement.
So it makes sense that President Trump would like to conclude the outline of the economic diplomacy by the time of the ASEAN and China visit – such that: A.) President Trump can outline the agreement and stroke the panda’s ego on his turf; and B.) President Xi Jinping can announce his magnanimous victory on behalf of great Panda’s incredible achievement in providing great security to the world.
Meanwhile, just prior to the ASEAN/China meetup, President Trump’s secret weapon, Ivanka, who happens to be the most beloved American in China, is deployed to India to capture the world’s attention with Prime Minister Narendra Modi hugs.
Prime Minister Modi is the “Trump Card” in the geopolitical economic gamesmanship. China is currently at odds with India’s rise to economic power; Bollywood is very hot in the U.S. right now; and a warm Modi – Trump economic relationship is a foil against China’s heavy-handed extortion of their economic partners.
Those who doubt Trump’s strategic economic approach with India only need to look at how the U.S. has given Pakistan the responsibility to bring tribal extremists in Afghanistan to the table of negotiation. China and Pakistan are allied via massive Chinese investment, while the U.S. has now allied in common principle with India who is invested in Afghanistan.
Whoopsie sounds like the makings of a fork in China’s One Road/One Belt plan.
Again, President Trump holds all the economic cards. Just look at what he did to neuter Russia’s economy when everyone was paying attention to the bouncing laser dot on the wall. The American and Western media missed it, but President Trump moved the entire geopolitical world via a strategic energy platform.
Sip this next paragraph slowly to enjoy:
From OPEC (Saudi Summit) to the EU and Baltic States (Poland Pre-G20); to North African energy development via President Macron (Libya and Mali); to walking away from the Paris Climate agreement; to discussions with Theresa May on a bilateral trade deal; to massive shipments of coal to U.K. and France; to closing a deal to deliver Ireland massive amounts of Texas LNG; to our own internal U.S. energy production policy with pipelines, Oil, Coal and Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) etc.
President Trump used all of those “allied” relationships to lower global energy prices.
The bigger part of the ‘big-missed-picture‘ was how that energy strategy impacted the economies of adversaries like Russia and Iran and simultaneously supported the larger America-First economic and geopolitical space.
Obviously President Trump thinks seriously long-term, and really BIG picture.
President Trump thinks so far out in front of his opposition and detractors they genuinely cannot fathom the sequential logic behind the day-to-day granular activity. Thinking this way is what caught China off-guard. They did not anticipate the scope of the geopolitical economic squeeze –OUTLINED HERE– that President Trump could initiate.
Yes, in large part this is what makes President Trump so enjoyable to watch politically. Just like the American media, our international adversaries and competitors have no reference point for a U.S. President that is entirely independent from influence. They continue to underestimate his effectiveness and ability to impact them economically.
So we can safely predict that sometime in late fall, most likely before the ASEAN visit timeline in November, President Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will be engaged in a new round of Six Party Talks, initiated by request of the increasingly desperate China.
China will structure the DPRK talking points, the “terms”, to set up the meetings. This is part of how China is allowed to save face and sets up the magnanimous Panda narrative.
The six party talks will essentially be a modern Marshall Plan of sorts for the DPRK and Southeast Asia. Geopolitical allies Japan, South Korea, and The United States -vs- China, Russia and North Korea. All six nations will enter into a set of negotiations publicly sold as engaging in diplomacy, deconflicting Southeast Asia, and reducing tension.
Eventually President Trump (or T-Rex) will sit on the Beijing patio complimenting Xi Jinping (or deputy), and Russian, Japanese and South Korean emissaries.
Meanwhile, in the conference room, Secretary Wilbur Ross, USTR Robert Lighthizer and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will play the role of Willy Wonka handing out the golden economic tickets to the representatives who all line up with their requests.
President Trump’s golf partner, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, will already have his ticket, but he’ll play along. The real negotiations that matter will be between the U.S. Russia and China. Russia’s angle will be negotiating for higher regional energy prices to get their GDP growing again. China’s priority will be economic, with tough trade discussion as they negotiate to retain as much of the $320 billion U.S. trade surplus as possible and retain their one-road/one-belt initiative.
The end result will be Kim Jong-un giving up his nuclear ambitions for good; a group of nations promising economic assistance (size TBD), and some official enterprise of ASEAN partners enters as an agency to oversee nuclear compliance under carefully negotiated terms. Big Panda (Xi Jinping) promises the world to be the magnanimous insurance policy therein. Everything between now and that outcome is optically chaff and countermeasures.
That’s essentially the way the economic and national security future looks today.
Then again, it might get brighter.
After all, this is President Donald Trump we’re talking about.