Will Trump’s Love of Deals Work With China?
By Andrew Browne / Nov. 22, 2016 / WSJ
SHANGHAI—As North Korea accelerates its ballistic missile and nuclear testing, hastening the day it can threaten to turn Seattle into ashes, U.S. options range from terrible to nightmarish.
The path to a solution—if one exists at all—leads through Beijing, Pyongyang’s main sponsor.
Is there a Grand Bargain to be made?
Within academic and think-tank circles, discussion of a sweeping settlement between the U.S. superpower and its Chinese challenger has picked up as tensions build in the South China Sea.
North Korea is a possible catalyst, if not for a comprehensive bargain then at least for a broad discussion about the shape of regional security. Mr. Obama stressed “strategic patience” as Pyongyang pursued its nuclear ambitions. Mr. Trump will face a moment of decision when North Korea acquires the ability to strike the U.S. Pacific Northwest.
Writing before the election, Amitai Etzioni, a professor of international relations at George Washington University, suggested a trade-off in which China agrees to twist Pyongyang’s arm over its nuclear program in return for Washington accepting greater Chinese influence in its immediate neighborhood.
His university colleague, Charles L. Glaser, proposes that America drop its commitment to defend Taiwan—the thorniest issue in U.S.-China relations—in exchange for China’s agreeing to peacefully resolve island disputes in the East China Sea and South China Sea.
Even more imaginatively, Hugh White, professor of strategic studies at Australian National University, envisages an arrangement in which U.S. primacy gives way to joint regional management along with China, Japan and India. Others recommend that America march its troops off the Korean Peninsula, or sail its fleets away from Japan. Read more…
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