Ho-Lee-Cats, is it Happening? – Chairman Xi Announces Visit to North Korea…

Well, well, well….  Against the backdrop of everything we have been discussing about the nature of the U.S. – China – North Korea geopolitics; and considering the current position of all the players; THIS is a very interesting development:

BEIJING (Reuters) – Chinese President Xi Jinping will visit North Korea for two days from Thursday, state media in both countries reported on Monday, making him the first Chinese leader to visit in 14 years.

Neighboring China is reclusive North Korea’s only major ally, and the visit comes amid renewed tensions between the United States and North Korea over efforts to persuade Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons.

“Both sides will exchange views on the (Korean) peninsula situation, and push for new progress in the political resolution of the peninsula issue,” China’s official broadcaster CCTV said in a lengthy report that led the evening news. (read more)

The possibility here is one most CTH readers will immediately recognize.  Is this the predictable face-saving approach Chairman Xi Jinping has selected?

For two-and-a-half years U.S. President Trump has been working on two connected objectives: (1) removing the threat posed by North Korea by severing the ability of Beijing to use the proxy province as a weapon (Kim is hostage to China); and (2) deconstructing the growing economic influence of China.

Both issues are directly connected to national security; and both issues are being approached by President Trump through the use of economic leverage to achieve national security results.

At first blush, there’s always a possibility of Chairman Xi going to see Chairman Kim in dragon mode… looking for a way to weaponize the DPRK despite the budding relationship between Chairman Kim (hostage) and U.S. President Donald Trump.  However, that dragon perspective is blunted by the open media indications that the talks are centered around denuclearization.   So that puts more weight on the second possibility.

The second possibility, the more optimistic possibility, is that we have finally reached that point in the U.S. -vs- China economic confrontation where Chairman Xi is now facing defeat and attempting to save face, and gain a better economic outcome, by releasing his hostage.   This would be an incredible, almost unfathomable, win for President Trump; and an astounding visible affirmation that the year’s long strategy has been successful.

When we began watching this journey in 2017, there were indications President Trump was working specifically to create an outcome of a hostage release.  And in the years that have followed there have been multiple highly-nuanced indications of the strategy Trump was following.  This visit by Chairman Xi to North Korea in advance of the G20 summit has all the indications of this could very well be the culmination; ending exactly where President Trump has intended. As we noted in this graphic two years ago:

Caution is the word of the day.  After all, this is the cunning and duplicitous China we are talking about here…. they have a history of using deceit and stall tactics to achieve victory.  However, President Trump has shown he is well aware of what lies behind the panda mask.

That said, it’s worth watching very closely now to see the details of the G20 and whether Xi and Trump actually meet.

Beijing has announced Chairman Xi and South Korean President Moon Jae-in are scheduled for a meeting….  and we know on the issue of DPRK hostage release Chairman Xi will need to save face very carefully.

One way for Xi to avoid the appearance of acquiescence to Trump would be for him and Beijing to place the victory at the feet of Moon Jae-in instead of President Trump.   I would almost guarantee, if indeed Xi is now giving up his hostage, China will position themselves as magnanimous panda and South Korea as the beneficiary.

“Peace is the Prize” ~ Donald Trump

Ultimately, I don’t think President Trump really cares about who gets credit for the victory and hostage release of Chairman Kim.  The world will know, though the media may not assign, the victory is only because President Trump has outwitted Chairman Xi and his communist regime…. and Trump did that though strategic economic pressure.

We should be able to get some indications from public and media discussion ahead of the G20 summit in Japan this month, as to how -specifically- the hostage release will take place; and/or the terms and conditions within that release.   Will Chairman Xi meet with President Trump?

…or will Xi tell Kim (or an emissary) to inform Trump there will be no meeting, but the face-saving terms and reasons are understood by all the principals.

Incredible development.

Lastly, as it relates to the continued U.S. -vs- China trade and economic confrontation, if Chairman Xi expects POTUS Trump to retreat from the massive geopolitical leverage he has created that won’t happen.

President Trump has been openly, albeit with coded messages, telling the world North Korea is no longer a threat.  The secondary purpose of making those statements is to blunt the value of Xi giving up his hostage.  In essence, Trump has been telling Beijing: it’s a victory already achieved, so magnanimous panda isn’t providing Trump anything of measurable value.

Remember, two connected objectives: (1) removing the threat posed by North Korea by severing the ability of Beijing to use the proxy province as a weapon; and (2) deconstructing the growing economic influence of China.  With #1 achieved, President Trump still fully intends to get #2.  Heck, Trump has spent 30-years openly advocating for the principle of restoring American wealth.  That means the economic pressure will continue until Beijing is defeated.

This entry was posted in ASEAN, Auto Sector, Big Government, China, Communist, Donald Trump, Economy, Hong Kong, media bias, N Korea, President Trump, Russia, Trade Deal, Uncategorized, US dept of agriculture, US Treasury, USA. Bookmark the permalink.

195 Responses to Ho-Lee-Cats, is it Happening? – Chairman Xi Announces Visit to North Korea…


    Call me skeptical. Xi doesn’t want to give up the hostage or make concessions on stealing our technology. My gut tells me Xi wants to remind Kim who his Daddy is and get on the right side of the deal before something bad happens to him.
    I would not be surprised if Kim throws up a couple long range missiles as ordered by Xi to undermine POTUS domestically.
    I can hear Chuck Todd now, “I thought you had this great relationship with Kim Mr. President??”

    I can never underestimate the hardline the Chi-Coms take or the MSM willingness to undermine Trump, no matter the national security risks.

    I’d LOVE to be wrong!!!!!!!

    Liked by 9 people

    • E. L. Tolbert says:

      I certainly agree this is a possibility. I think Sundance agrees too. But, all this has been carefully considered by the parties, and into the calculation that XI must make is that, as soon as the rockets go up from S. Korea, so do the tariffs in the USA.

      And can China stand that until the Nov/2020 Elections? Does Trump have the stones to go for it knowing the Media will eviscerate him for whatever he does?

      I am hoping Xi could tell Kim to fire off some rockets without going to N. Korea, but he needs to bestow a visit on his lackey to and help him save face as he tells him has to give up his nuclear ambitions.

      It’s a chess game also with stones and even luck involved.

      Too bad the Chinese Media will be on Xi’s side….and so will the American Media.

      Liked by 4 people

      • Reloader says:

        ” … as soon as the rockets go up … so do the tariffs … ”

        Just like the Hughes FireFinder radars used in Desert Storm, which instantly determined the location of Iraqi artillery by tracking the shells in flight. Devastatingly accurate Counter-Fire within a minute or two taught Iraqis that “to pull the lanyard was to invite death.”

        Is Xi that smart?

        Liked by 3 people

    • UndercoverInAK says:

      The reason Trump wins is that all available options to opponents are wins for Trump (and now America). He starts out Win-Win and if not accepted, turns to Win-Lose. The question becomes how bad does the other side lose.

      For Jim Comey is a Weasel (Cool name BTW), think of the next step. Kim launches rockets, Xi loses face. Tariffs increase on China and US restarts exercises in South Korea again. No change to situation he inherited other than China has A LOT more tariffs on them with Huawei imploding and ZTE already under control (remember, that was the first shot over the bow and China acquiesced, allowing American influence into their board of directors). Key is Xi loses face, right after Lam did in Hong Kong. Bad juju, karma, or in Chinese lingo “face”. That is on top of a plummeting economy.

      The other option is Xi cannot lose face AGAIN (on top of Hong Kong fiasco and ZTE). So, giving up Korea (which is already lost) is the only option in the hope for saving face and being able to say, see how we helped you with NK. The only play, IMO, that Xi has is saving Huawei. Go back to ZTE model and folks sitting with the board of directors.

      Xi’s only saving grace here is he is hoping, beyond all hope (and hope is not a method), that Trump loses in 2020 and those dudes on ZTE’s and Huawei board of directors can be bribed.

      My take. I will now shut up and color.


      Liked by 4 people

    • Alec Rawls says:

      I don’t think there is really any solace for the Chinese to find in how our media will blame Trump for any collapse of denuclearization.

      The enemedia does not need any alarming turn of events to go full screaming DEFCON ONE on Trump. They can do it over the most trivial nothing, like Romney’s “binders full of women,” or Trump’s “yes I’m going to listen if Ukraine comes to me with proof that Joe Biden wasn’t lying when he bragged that he manipulated U.S. foreign policy to force Ukraine to fire the prosecutor who was uncovering Hunter Biden’s illegal dealings in that country.” (How I wish Trump had been that explicit. Next go round maybe.)

      The media’s “DEFCON ONE no matter what” blunts the strategic weight that decision-makers can give to the media’s ability to spin events. No matter what actually happens the media won’t be able to hurt Trump much more than they would if something completely different happened.

      At the same time, Trump really does regard the situation as win win. He would just as soon complete his destruction of the Chinese economy before having to give that benefit up in exchange for denuclearization. Trump loves it when someone he is negotiating with clings stubbornly to a deteriorating bargaining position. Then he can get everything he wants for a song.

      The Chinese would be betting everything on the Democrat clown show, whose only advantage is their very formidable media dominance, but that media effect is already maxed out. It is what it is. It won’t become MORE effective depending on what strategy China chooses, and it was not sufficient advantage in 2016.

      Of course Xi will root with all hope for our America-hating Democrat freak-show to prevail, but bet on it? When the smiling bull elephant Trump is strolling through the China shop, declaring best friendship as he leaves CAT-4 wreckage in his wake?

      No matter. It’s win win. Having the denuclearization bird in hand would be awesome but it is only a pawn after all, while the second bird in the bush is the other side’s queen, its power, and it is well and truly stuck. If Xi wants to continue to play, more power to us. If he loses his queen then he topples as well.

      Liked by 1 person

      • stripmallgrackle says:

        “yes I’m going to listen if Ukraine comes to me with proof that Joe Biden wasn’t lying…” What a great response that would have been. To continue, “So if someone from the Ukraine came to me with this, and it wasn’t public knowledge already, what would I have , George? Oppo research that I should campaign on, or evidence of a sitting vice president using his office to manipulate the justice system of a sovereign nation for his own enrichment, or rather that of his degenerate kid? Same thing, and something the courts might frown upon. What would you do George?”


    • Carrie2 says:

      On the other hand, Kim may have grown up and via our President see a better future for him and his citizens, and then concentrate on other ways to improve his country. Maybe seeing what Trump has done so far with Xi may also make Kim think he can rule his country, beautify it and make big bucks as suggested by Trump. One day China and Xi have to grow up and face the fact that starting a war would not be good to them and their people who have become accustomed to a better life style. I pray that is what will take place. Piece by piece our President is working to unite the world and encourage other countries to be more open to freedom and rights. Not all will do this, but they may also suffer from lack of food and other items as may not be allowed by the other countries to purchase any thing from them. Dreams? Yes but much is up for grabs.


  2. sarasotosfan says:

    Xi is going to Kim to look for pro tips on how to run a country without.


  3. Dutchman says:

    EXACTLY! So many don’t ‘get Trump’;
    If “never underestimate the enemy’ is a rule of war, than the corelary is ‘anything you can do to encourage your enemy to underestimate you puts you at an advantage.

    The true beauty of the “honey badger attitude”, is not ‘giving a sh*t’ which is to say not basing your actions on peoples OPINION of you.

    So many with low self esteem worry about what others think of them. If you are secure in yourself, you don’t.

    So, you act like the “your fired” Trump.
    People are intimidated by the persona. Then, in face to face you are,warm and ingratiating. They are disarmed, right at the outset.

    So, encouraging people to think you are a hothead, liable to ‘fly off the handle’ and do something rash, or are stupid, uninformed, ego driven can all work to your advantage.

    Very few have the self confidence to pull it off, successfully, DJT is a MASTER.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. TarsTarkas says:

    I hope he doesn’t give Kim marching orders. Like ordering him to commence a mass artillery barrage on Seoul or else. Xi like past rulers of the Han Empire doesn’t give a s**t about casualties unless not causing them creates an advantage or opportunity.


    • Reloader says:

      There are so many who believe that Xi and China have military options.

      They do not.

      Attacking Seoul is the same as attacking the U.S., literally. And aside from possible actions by the U.S. military, tariffs on China exports would go to 50% or higher and on All exports. China then collapses instantly. And no one knows better than VSGPDJT that NK missiles are CHINESE, directed by Xi and the Conmunist Party.

      Despite all of their military build-up and the swaggering and boasting– China DOES NOT have ANY military options. Their military is completely useless, because their main enemy is also their main trading partner. And Trading Partner means LIFEBLOOD.

      Conmunists are LIARS first of all.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Pegon Zellschmidt says:

    I don’t understand why Xi has to go to NK. What is it he’s going to tell Kim? It’s over? No more welfare? He’d better have a lot of protection. Kim has dogs.


  6. jjs says:

    Now all we have to do is beat the communist here at home!

    Liked by 3 people

  7. jeans2nd says:

    The Reuters article says the U.S. and NoKo have “renewed tensions.”
    Really? From Pres Trump’s words, actions, and demeanor, it hardly seems like there are “renewed tensions.”
    Wishful thinking, perhaps, on Reuter’s part?

    That said, serious question – say the Korean peninsula is denuclearized. NoKo and South Korea kiss and make up. What is to stop China from pulling another Hong Kong and slowly taking over South Korea, with KJU being the ultimate “ruler” over all Korea, under China’s watchful eye, of course.

    Would not put it past Xi to pull exactly that scenario. After all, Obama and Company have never stopped their World “Just Wait” Tour, urging every country on the planet to wait until the Progressive Democrats can remove Pres Trump and then things will be back to (their) “normal.”


    • AH_C, Boofer says:

      One thing SD missed is the trickle down effect.

      The world is watching, from the yellow vests in France to the million plus in Hong Kong protesting the extradition agreement. Not to mention the recent 30th anniversary of TS where the Chinese regime brutally murdered protesting students. Only the central committee probably know the death toll.

      Funny how there’s a major convergence in pushing back serfdom. Nation after nation’s WTP are waking up and asserting their inalienable rights.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Lou Foxwell says:

      Xi has instilled in Kim and Moon precisely the resolution you suggest. I have no idea whatever of PDJT’s strategy. His vision, however, is clear. NK and SK will engage in protracted efforts to merge their cultures with China on one side and the entire Eastern rim ( Japan, Phillippeans, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam) sitting on the other side.


  8. rich33y says:

    Borrowing an image from Sundance:

    “Complicated business folks,… Complicated business”

    Liked by 1 person

  9. rcogburn says:

    Whatever the reason Xi is going, he’s only going because Trump is WINNING. Why else has no Chinese leader visited the Pyongyang gulag in over a decade?

    Until now, NK played its role as the rabid dog tied up to China’s back fence, scaring its neighbors and scaring Americans, terrified the crazy madman in charge might someday level a city with a nuke.

    Bill Clinton told us NK was run by a rabid madman so dangerous, he had to give it billions to calm it down. Bolton/Bush and Co told us NK had gotten even more dangerous than before, so let’s get them before they get us. Then Obama told us NK was now run by a rabid madman more powerful and crazier than anyone ever. Send envoys and call the UN before he takes out Honolulu.

    All of them pretended not to see China, on the other side of the fence, holding NK’s leash, using NK as leverage for decades economic destruction. NK was in the center of the applecart nobody wanted to upset. Way too much at stake.

    Then along comes VSG Trump, who went to the madman, made friends with him, and flipped the apple cart upside down.

    Is Xi going to loosen the chains binding Kim? Is this the Chinese soft power version of the 1956 Soviet visit to Hungary?

    Either way – Winning!

    Liked by 4 people

  10. Luz Maria Rodriguez says:

    It is soo cool to finally have a REAL leader for Prez.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. MaineCoon says:

    This short article is worth reading. It appeared in the China Daily, entitled ” Insulting China cannot be tolerated”. It gives further understanding to President Trump’s kind words of Xi. It doesn’t take much to insult China.

    FTA: Paul Donovan, chief economist of Union Bank of Switzerland, has been widely criticized for insulting China in a report. People’s Daily comments:

    In a podcast on Wednesday, Donovan said that consumer prices in China had risen after an outbreak of African swine fever killed a vast number of pigs and cut pork supplies.

    “Does this matter? It matters if you are a Chinese pig. It matters if you like eating pork in China,” Donovan said, offending many Chinese.

    Donovan has apologized for any offense and said his words have been misunderstood. But he has already paid a price for his misdeed: He has been suspended from his job and the Securities Association of China has proclaimed him an unwelcome person.


    Liked by 1 person

  12. NoTwoSystemsOnlyOneChiCom says:

    Baby Huey welcomes Winnie the Xi.


  13. OhNoYouDont says:


  14. A2 says:

    The much awaited Qiushi (Seeking Truth, the official CCP organ that all cadres are required to read) is published. Articles from the issue have been published in all local propaganda newspapers of record. It is very long, but I may summarise it as “China has the moral high ground and is a victim of duplicitous bad America”. “Remember the Mission”.

    So the propaganda campaign is on hard sell and it was published specifically before the G20.

    Xi’s visit is to commemorate the 70th anniversary of CCP-China and DPRK relations with a big dose of Korean War thrown in. I suspect it is a ‘housekeeping’ visit.

    I have no clue as to what will happen except that both countries have been assailing the US non stop over the past year. It’s like trying to read tea leaves covered in Russian ice creams.

    Liked by 1 person

    • A2 says:

      To give just a snippet from the article by Qing Yuan (pseudonym) specifically on the trade war, “Recognize the essence, understand the general trend, fight to the end
      ——Several issues that need to be clarified in Sino-US economic and trade friction”

      “Why do some people in the United States disregard the facts and stubbornly believe that the United States has “eaten a loss” in Sino-US economic and trade relations?

      The key point lies in the “zero-sum game” thinking of hegemonism. After the Second World War, the United States replaced the old imperialist powers of Western Europe with its super strength and became the center of the capitalist world system. After the end of the Cold War, the United States became the only superpower in the world with unprecedented history.

      The hegemonic thinking has penetrated into the bone marrow of some Americans. They are defined by hegemonic thinking. If China benefits in any way, it will be regarded as causing the United States to “eat a loss.” China will be regarded as a “threat” to the United States if it approaches or even surpasses the United States in any field. In their minds, only when China is locked into subordinate status for a long time, is suppressed in the low end of the industrial chain, while the United States is always in a monopoly position, forever retaining the authority of the hegemony, and enjoying monopoly profits forever, is it considered “fair” and “safe”. Once it is believed that there may be an equal competition between China and the United States, even if this relationship is mutually beneficial and does not meet the objectives of its hegemonism, it must be contained and suppressed.

      With such a ridiculous “zero-sum game” thinking, how can it shape normal Sino-US economic and trade relations?”

      Lots more in that vein.


  15. North Korea has always been a completely manufactured pseudo-crisis. I hope Trump isn’t so lame as to weaken his position vis-a-vis China to get a totally phony “victory” with North Korea.

    Liked by 1 person

    • bluebongo says:

      Exactly! ESGPDJT’s button really is much bigger and definitely works. Other than the hyperventilating enemedia giving credence to the little dictator for supposedly having a (singular) nuke there’s “no there there “.


  16. Aussie fan of Trump says:

    I think Sundance’s analysis is likely to be correct [that Xi is likely to give up his hostage in the most face saving manner possible] given the current macro environment Xi finds himself confronted with. I think it is no coincidence the huge pushback Xi is currently getting from millions of freedom loving Hong Kongers, coupled with crippling economic tariffs from the US and sanctions against their state champion Huawei is all converging ahead of the G20 and forcing Xi to run around like a little madman to try shore up support (from Russia, the ‘Stans’, et al) to try show some semblance support for his waning influence at home and abroad. Trump has played this one brilliantly – as to be expected from a VSG 😉


  17. Ezgoer says:

    The only way China prevails is for Trump to lose re-election and the Dems reverse his trade policy. China won’t do anything that gives Trump a win and helps his re-election.


  18. Spectre says:

    President Trump has said repeatedly that China wants to make a deal badly and that he’s the one holding things up.

    Throwing Kim into the mix as a substitute for other economic concessions sought by Team Lighthizer, as SD predicted would happen, makes a lot of sense…

    The G20 is now less than 2 weeks away. If China wasn’t prepared to reenter negotiations, they probably would have stated this already and closed the door on any bi-lateral meetings in Japan. I think SD is right, this set up looks promising…


  19. TreeClimber says:

    Hope this doesn’t end in Kim’s death… or maybe I’m just dour tonight.


  20. A2 says:

    Jason Burack
    If you aren’t a hardcore brainwashed goldbug or CCP apologist, you may find this new #China podcast I did today interesting. China’s #DollarShortage & #tradewar causing a food crisis that’s much worse than reported according to one of my good China sources


  21. ATheoK says:

    President Trump should wear gloves and body armor the entire time! I would not put it past Xi to try and poison President Trump in front of everybody. A slow acting highly lethal poison with few antidotes.


  22. Padric says:

    I think Sundance is largely correct here and may be correct in how this all shakes out as well. I would offer one other cautious alternative, however:

    Xi goes to North Korea, tells KJU “We’re cutting you loose, but only on our terms.” He then goes to South Korea and tells Moon “You know what the deal is, you know we hold Un’s puppet strings. We’re willing to cut them, but only if you support my moves at G20”.

    At the G20 he tells president Trump, “We’ll give up control over NoKo in return for concessions on the trade front. The world will be told that I, and only I, can broker this. If you say no, we’ll let the world know it was you who stopped North Korea from denuclearizing and we’ll run massive PR showing the world how your tariff’s are starving a billion people, how we tried to negotiate, even got North Korea to give up their weapons all in an effort to placate you. Remember, Donald, you will have five more years, at most. I am president for life and can out wait you.”

    Now, I realize a lot of folks will say “So what? Let the world scream” but I think that undervalues just how powerful tying these two things, NoKo and China trade, together are. If they are a valuable weapon to be used for the U.S., then they are a valuable weapon to be used against the U.S. as well.

    Xi knows he’s boxed in heading into G20. He know’s he has no leverage, no bargaining chip and has to create one.That I can see, this is the only thing he has available and as such it makes no sense for him to allow Moon to claim the mantle of peace maker when China still holds Un’s strings and can be used as a bargaining chip.

    I know Sundance says NoKo isn’t really a bargaining chip anymore for China, but I’m not of the same mind…yet. I still view what’s going on as a tug of war between Xi and president Trump and I think the G20 meeting would be Xi either letting go of the rope or digging his heels in for a final conflict. Either way, it’s the beginning of the end.


  23. hellinahandbasket says:

    It’s another day . . . and another day that I can say:
    I love my President.
    . . . and it is good.


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