It was ABSOLUTELY NOT coincidental that China sent a low level trade delegation to the U.S. at exactly the same time U.S.T.R. Lighthizer is conducting open hearings on Section 301 national security trade issues; which are specifically targeted toward China.
For the second time POTUS is using strategic deployment of sunlight on the relationship between Beijing and North Korea. President Trump is highlighting what has been hidden for decades. China has structured the use of North Korean nuclear ambitions as the sword of Damocles over their economic adversaries in the West. China’s Chairman Xi Jinping controls the government officials that surround North Korea’s Chairman Kim Jong-un:
These tweets, along with the earlier tweet. are serious business. They are being fired directly into the heart of Beijing. They are the mother of all truth bombs, and they take away the ability of Chairman Xi to deploy the hidden threat and DPRK control.
“Subtle” like a brick through a window. [More backstory available here.] President Trump is removing the Panda mask to reveal the authentic nature of Chairman Xi Jinping. Simultaneously Trump is trying to rescue Kim Jong-un from the clutches of the Red dragon behind the panda mask.
Until there is an empirical or factual reason to counter what seems like an obvious geopolitical strategy, we should consider all events through the prism that the primary leadership within the DPRK, the officials controlling Kim, are under the control of China.
The trade confrontation is China’s biggest geopolitical risk. The primary weapon China holds toward demanding terms from the U.S. would be their ability to change the dynamic in North Korea at any given moment. From this frame-of-reference things begin to make more sense.
On the surface it appears the U.S. is negotiating terms for a denuclearized North Korea; however, under the surface the bigger issue is the ongoing economic confrontation between the U.S. and China. The DPRK is Red Dragon leverage.
Consider that Chairman Kim was/is likely put into power not as a linear out-cropping of his familial relationship, but more as a strategy of ongoing Chinese duplicity. Kim Jong-un was seen as easier to control. Consider the possibility that all of the DPRK officials who carry out the objectives of the ruling North Korean government are factually operating according to the dictates of the hidden Chinese authority.
Within this dynamic Chairman Kim received the scorn of the international community; but was -in reality- merely a figurehead, a false panda face – hiding the true authority behind all of the DPRK policy, and a designed strategy constructed by China.
Consider that by confronting the economic interests of China, President Trump fractured the decades-long ruse, and is now positioned to expose the nature of the Chinese ruling authority within North Korea. This becomes a stunning paradigm shift; a reality that few could possibly fathom, unless you consider the cunning of Beijing.
Under this scenario, it is adverse to the interest of China for a united, open and democratic Korean peninsula where the North and South are together again. It would be particularly adverse to Xi’s interests if the U.S., Japan and a united Korea formed any substantive international alliance.
The best play for China would be to control the outcomes of any unification and position China as the control agent for any united Korea. This would be critically important if, as I am now increasingly confident, North Korea was/is actually a proxy province of China and has been for decades under the complete -albeit hidden- rule of the Chinese authority.
Under this scenario, Chairman Xi has to play a very careful game of geopolitical cunning; and if at any moment he sees Chairman Kim accepting the rescue of President Trump, Xi will likely move to eliminate Kim and defend his interests quickly.
Imagine the internal stress upon the young Kim Jong-un who has been forced to ride this dragon for almost a decade, and knows his government is not actually his government but rather a governing body with all officials reporting to Beijing.
Imagine you are the next-door-neighbor to an abused child who lives inside the palace of the abuser. The abuse has been psychological and manipulative upon this child for decades. How do you rescue him? Additionally, how do you rescue him when the ultimate abuser is the king of all communities, governments, political and legal systems in/around the palace?… and only you know the nature of the dynamic…. (link)
If our overall operating thesis is correct, these are very tenuous times. Communist China will not give up on a decades-long grand design for economic conquest. President Trump is confronting that Chinese strategy head-on.
Each time China takes aggressive action (red dragon) China projects a panda face through silence and non-response to opinion of that action;…. and the action continues. The red dragon has a tendency to say one necessary thing publicly, while manipulating another necessary thing privately. The Art of War.
President Trump is the first U.S. President to understand how the red dragon hides behind the panda mask.
It is specifically because he understands that Panda is a mask that President Trump messages warmth toward the Chinese people, and pours vociferous praise upon Chairman Xi Jinping, while simultaneously confronting the geopolitical doctrine of the Xi regime.
In essence Trump is mirroring the behavior of China while confronting their economic duplicity.
President Trump is putting on a MASSIVE economic squeeze.
♦Squeeze #1. President Trump and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin sanctioned Venezuela and cut off their access to expanded state owned oil revenue. Venezuela needs more money. China and Russia are already leveraged to the gills in Venezuela and hold 49% of Citgo as collateral for loans outstanding. China and Russia now need to loan more, directly.
However, China cannot engage in economic commerce with Venezuela or they risk losing access to the U.S. banking system. Therefore all current Chinese aid to Maduro comes in the form of IOUs. These ongoing loans are likely impossible to be repaid.
♦Squeeze #2. China’s geopolitical ally, Russia, is already squeezed with losses in energy revenue because of President Trump’s approach toward oil, LNG and coal. Trump, through allies including Saudi Arabia, EU, France (North Africa energy), and domestic production has influenced global energy prices. Additionally, President Trump is demanding NATO countries, specifically Germany, stop supporting financial dependence on Russia.
Meanwhile, and directly connected, Russia is bleeding out financially in Syria. Iran is the financial reserve, but they too are energy price dependent and President Trump is now putting pressure on Iran vis-a-vis new sanctions and new demands on allies.
♦Squeeze #3. In 2017 Trump and Secretary Tillerson, now Secretary Pompeo, put Pakistan on notice they need to get involved in bringing their enabled tribal “extremists” (Taliban) to the table in Afghanistan. Pakistan’s primary investor and economic partner is China. The U.S. removed $900 million in financial support to pressure Pakistan toward a political solution in Afghanistan, China has to fill void. [NOTE: Last month the World Bank began discussions about a financial bailout for Pakistan.] Again, more one-way bleed for China.
♦Squeeze #4. China’s primary economic threat (competition) is next door in India. President Trump has embraced India as leverage over China in trade and pledged ongoing favorable trade deals. The key play is MFN (Most Favored Nation) trade status might flip from China to India. That’s a big play. It would have massive ramifications.
♦Squeeze #5. President Trump launched a USTR Section 301 Trade Investigation into China’s theft of intellectual property. This encompasses every U.S. entity that does manufacturing business with China, particularly aeronautics and technology, and also reaches into the financial services sector.
In March of 2018 U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer completed a section 301 review of China’s trade practices. [SEE HERE] Section 301 of the U.S. Trade Act of 1974 authorizes the President to take all appropriate action, including retaliation, to obtain the removal of any act, policy, or practice of a foreign government that violates an international trade agreement or is unjustified, unreasonable, or discriminatory, and that burdens or restricts U.S. commerce. However, as talks with China progressed, President Trump shelved the 301 action to see where negotiations would end-up. The May and June, 2018, negotiations between the U.S. and China provided no progress. The 301 review of China was pulled back off the shelf, and President Trump assembles his trade-war strategy. The 301 tariffs/sanctions are currently being worked out with U.S.T.R Robert Lighthizer.
♦Squeeze #6. President Trump, Secretary Ross, Secretary Mnuchin and USTR Robert Lighthizer are dissolving NAFTA in favor of two bilateral agreements; one with Mexico and one with Canada. One of the primary objectives of team U.S.A. is to close the 3rd party loopholes, including dumping and origination, that China uses to gain backdoor access to the U.S. market and avoid trade/tariff restrictions. [China sends parts to Mexico and Canada for assembly and then back-door entry into the U.S. via NAFTA.]
♦Squeeze #7. President Trump has been open, visible and vocal about his intention to shift to bilateral trade renegotiation with China and Southeast Asia immediately after Team U.S.A. concludes with NAFTA. [Current discussions with Japan are ongoing]
♦Squeeze #8. President Trump positioned the U.S. relationship with the E.U. as a massive potential loss for Europe (via Steel, Aluminum, and Auto tariffs) if they did not: (A) shift their trade relationship toward greater reciprocity; and (B) reconsider the size of their trade relationship with China. After initially trying to push-back, Europe acquiesced.
♦Squeeze #9. President Trump has positioned ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) as trade benefactors for assistance with North Korea. Last year the KORUS (South Korea and U.S.) trade deal was renegotiated, and announced in March. The relationship between ASEAN nations and the Trump administration is very strong, and getting stronger. Which leads to…
♦Squeeze #10. President Trump has formed an economic and national security alliance with Shinzo Abe of Japan. It is not accidental that North Korea’s Kim Jong-un fired his last missile over the Northern part of Japan. Quite simply, Beijing told him to. However…
♦Squeeze #11. President Trump cut-off the duplicitous Beijing influence over North Korea by engaging directly with Kim Jong-un. The open exchange and ongoing dialogue has removed much of the ability of Beijing to leverage the DPRK nuclear threat for their own economic benefit. This dialogue was as much, if not more, about dismantling the Beijing geopolitical influence as it was about denuclearizing the Korean peninsula. However, no-one caught on to that part of the strategy.