Andrew J. Nathan, the Class of 1919 Professor of Political Science at Columbia University, was one of several experts who discussed “When Trump and Kim Meet, What Will Xi Do?” in a March 13, 2018 ChinaFile Conversation. Professor Nathan was asked how the potential summit meeting between President Trump and Kim Jong-un might affect China’s interests in the region and how Beijing might feel about the Trump-Kim meeting.
“Xi can relax: Korea is not Beijing’s problem any more,” Professor Nathan wrote. “Let the two sides talk. The sense of crisis—which the Chinese always thought was created by the Americans for such ulterior motives as tying Japan and South Korea closer to the U.S.—will diminish. North Korea will continue to possess (and secretly develop) nuclear weapons, but without provocations so long as talks continue. The United States will continue to impose sanctions, but they will become increasingly leaky. The risk of war on China’s doorstep is over. Life will go on the way it does in the real world, unsatisfactory but tolerable.”
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