You Get To Be Xi Jinping Visiting North Korea

You Get To Be Xi Jinping Visiting North Korea

China's President Xi Jinping arrived Thursday in North Korea for a two-day visit, the first by a Chinese leader in more than a decade. The official reason is to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the two countries' diplomatic ties (together they fought the US and South Korea to a draw in the Korean war), but there are more pressing contemporary issues to address.

Here's the background:

The US and China are locked in a deepening trade war, which US President Donald Trump and Mr. Xi are set to discuss on the sidelines of the G20 meeting in Japan next week.

North Korea is under fresh economic pressure as a poor harvest exacerbates the economic effects of harsh international sanctions.

Progress on the North Korean nuclear issue is stalled, after the second summit between Trump and Kim earlier this year in Vietnam ended in failure. The US wants Kim to significantly dismantle his nuclear program before seriously loosening sanctions, but Kim wants some relief sooner than that or no dice. Meanwhile, North Korea has gone back to its pastime of firing missiles into the sea, putting everyone in the region on edge.

Let's put you in their shoes: Here's what you are thinking, if you're …

Xi Jinping: You want to show that you still have the most clout in North Korea. China accounts for 90 percent of the North's trade, and you can do more than anyone else to alleviate the country's economic isolation. That means you've got leverage. So if Trump really wants a deal with North Korea, you reason, he ought to bear that in mind when you guys sit down to talk about the US-China trade war next week.

Kim Jong-Un: You rarely let foreign leaders into your house (this is just the second time since you've taken power) but a high-profile foreign engagement like this is a diplomatic boon for you, particularly when it's China. You ideally want a little more economic help from Beijing, but you don't want to be pushed too far towards fresh talks with the US. After all, you've got these nukes, and you mean to get something concrete and immediate in return for putting them on the table. If not, you're happy to keep firing short range missiles for a while if it comes to that. Trump seems cool with it.

Donald Trump: Would you go a little softer on China just to get a deal on North Korea? Tough one -- as you look towards 2020, hitting China hard can be a political winner. Plus you've got a direct line to Kim – those love letters! – making China's clout less relevant. You can probably live with the status quo on North Korea while you focus on putting – and keeping – China over a barrel. But then you pick up your phone and open Twitter and…

Yau Abdul Karim lives and works in Garin Mai Jalah, located in the Yobe State of northeastern Nigeria. Essential to his work raising cattle is reliable access to water, yet environmental degradation has led to fewer water sources, severely impacting communities like his that depend on livestock. In 2019, with the help of FAO, Eni installed a special solar-powered well in Yau's town that provides water during the day as well as light at night.

Watch Yau's story as he shows how his family and community enjoy life-enhancing access to both water and light.

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

Hi, everybody. Ian Bremmer here. And I thought I'd talk a little bit today about the latest in Israel, Palestine. It's obviously been driving headlines all week. And of course, on social media, there's no topic that we all get along and agree with each other more than Israel, Palestine. It's an easy one to take on. Yeah, I know I'm completely full of crap on that. But I thought I would give you some sense of what I think is actually happening where we're going. So first point, massive fight, big conflict between Hamas in Gaza and the Israeli defense forces. Not only that, but also more violence and a lot of violence breaking out between Israeli Arabs and Israeli Jews. Extremists on both sides taking to the streets and fairly indiscriminate violence, in this case, worst since 2014.

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Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland's first minister, says another independence referendum for Scotland is now a matter of "when not if," and that after leaving the UK, Scotland will launch a bid to rejoin the EU. But there are formidable obstacles ahead.

Getting to a vote will force a complex game of chicken with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson. If a majority of Scots then vote for independence — hardly a sure thing – the process of extricating their new country from the UK will make Brexit look easy. Next, come the challenges of EU accession. In other words, Scotland's journey down the rocky road ahead has only just begun.

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Join GZERO Media and Microsoft for a live conversation on cyber challenges facing governments, companies, and citizens in a Munich Security Conference "Road to Munich" event on Tuesday, May 18.

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Get insights on the latest news in US politics from Jon Lieber, head of Eurasia Group's coverage of political and policy developments in Washington:

Who is Elise Stefanik and what does she mean for the Republican Party right now?

Elise Stefanik is a young member from Upstate New York. She had originally started her career as a staffer in the George W. Bush administration, but in recent years, has turned into one of the most outspoken defenders of President Donald Trump, particularly during the impeachment trial last year. She's relevant right now because it looks like she'll be replacing Liz Cheney, the Representative from Wyoming and also the daughter of the former Vice President, who has been outspoken in her criticism of President Trump since the January 6th insurrection, and probably more importantly, outspoken in her criticism of the direction of the Republican Party.

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According to Delhi-based journalist Barkha Dutt, while the Indian government has finally started to mobilize in response to the COVID crisis, there's still a lot of denial about the severity of the ourbreak. "Our Health Minister, for instance, made a statement in the last 24 hours saying that India is better equipped to fight COVID in 2021 than in 2020. That's simply rubbish. We had India's Solicitor General telling the Supreme Court that there is no oxygen deficit as of now. That's simply not true." In an interview on GZERO World, Dutt tells Ian Bremmer that only the connection between fellow Indians, helping each other when the government cannot, has been a salve.

Watch the episode: India's COVID calamity

Listen: Ask national security experts how they view China today and they'll likely the use a term like "adversary" or "economic competitor." But what about "enemy?" How close is the world to all-out-war breaking out between United States and China? According to US Admiral James Stavridis (Ret.), who served as Supreme Allied Commander to NATO, those odds are higher than many would like to admit. In fact, Stavridis says, the US risks losing its military dominance in the coming years to China. And if push comes to shove in a military conflict, it's not entirely clear who would prevail. Admiral Stavridis discusses his bestselling new military thriller 2034 and makes the case for why his fictional depiction of a US-China war could easily become reality.

Subscribe to the GZERO World Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or your preferred podcast platform to receive new episodes as soon as they're published.

Carl Bildt, former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Sweden, shares his perspective on Europe In 60 Seconds:

What's the issue with the letter in France talking about the "civil war"?

Well, I think it is part of the beginning of the French election campaign. We have some people in the military encouraged by the more right-wing forces, warning very much for the Muslim question. That's part of the upstart to the election campaign next year. More to come, I fear.

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Beyond SolarWinds: Securing Cyberspace. Watch on Tuesday, May 18, 2021 10am PT/ 1pm ET

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Beyond SolarWinds: Securing Cyberspace | Watch on Tuesday, May 18, 2021 10am PT / 1 pm PT

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Subscribe to GZERO Media's newsletter: Signal