Why China's Xi Jinping is courting North Korea's Kim Jong Un

It's not about nuclear weapons, leverage with US President Donald Trump or the trade war

SEOUL • As Chinese President Xi Jinping left North Korea last Friday, much attention was focused on whether he had obtained any concession on denuclearisation from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un - and how he might leverage that when he meets United States President Donald Trump this week on the margins of the Group of 20 summit.

But this focus on nuclear weapons and China's trade war with the US obscures the real significance of Mr Xi's trip, and it mistakes his weakness for strength.

Please or to continue reading the full article. Learn more about ST PREMIUM.

Enjoy unlimited access to ST's best work

  • Exclusive stories and features on multiple devices
  • In-depth analyses and opinion pieces
  • ePaper and award-winning multimedia content
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 28, 2019, with the headline 'Why Xi Jinping is courting Kim Jong Un'. Print Edition | Subscribe