President Trump Allegedly Quoted President Xi as Saying Korea Was Once Part of China

I like how the media is bashing President Trump for repeating something that Chinese President Xi said to him during their recent meeting in Florida:

Following his meeting with Chinese president Xi Jinping, Donald Trump made a shocking admission of ignorance to the Wall Street Journal, on the subject of China and North Korea: “After listening [to Xi] for 10 minutes I realized that…it’s not so easy.” Trump has been called out for having his views on such an important geopolitical issue shift dramatically in a matter of minutes. He also may not know who rules North Korea.

Right before that line about listening to Xi, though, Trump said something arguably even more shocking. He claimed that “Korea actually used to be a part of China.” This is a glaring historical inaccuracy that has, somehow, not yet enraged South Korea, which is usually extremely defensive about suggestions that it is lesser than China or has ever been dependent on it.

Trump also made it clear in the interview that when he says Korea “used to be a part of China,” he is talking about the entire Korean peninsula, not just the North. Here’s the full quote:

[Xi] then went into the history of China and Korea. Not North Korea, Korea. And you know, you’re talking about thousands of years …and many wars. And Korea actually used to be a part of China.

“No respectable historian would make such a claim,” said Kyung Moon Hwang, a history professor at the University of Southern California and author of A History of Korea, when I asked him via email to assess Trump’s statement.  []

You can read the rest at the link, but here is the Korean reaction to the quote:

South Korea on Wednesday dismissed the controversial remark reportedly made by U.S. President Donald Trump that Korea was “part of China” as untrue and not worthy of response.

“Whether that is true or not, Korea hasn’t been a part of China for thousands of years and it is an historical fact that the international community acknowledges and no one can deny it,” a foreign ministry official said on the condition of anonymity.

“It is worthless to respond to this kind of story,” he added.

Controversy is growing here after U.S. online media reported that Trump made that remark in an interview with the Wall Street Journal while sharing what was discussed with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in their recent summit held earlier this month.

In the story titled “Trump weirdly says Korea was part of China, which is totally wrong and could enrage South Korea,” Quartz reported that Trump quoted Xi as making the remark during the summit.

It is not clear if and in what context Xi said so, nor is it certain whether it is an accurate quote or an error that possibly occurred in the process of interpretation. The remark was not mentioned in the WSJ interview.  [Yonhap]

So it is a remark with no context and was not in the actual WSJ interview and we are all supposed to get enraged by this?  Even if the remark is true, people instead of getting upset with Trump should get upset with Xi.  Considering China’s ongoing Northeast Asia Project is it any wonder Xi would claim to Trump that Korea was once part of China? The Northeast Asia Project has been going on for years where the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) have been claiming that the ancient Koguryo kingdom in Korea was founded by a Chinese minority tribe.  They have even registered Koguryo sites with UNESCO with no mention of the kingdom being Korean.

This is all likely being done to set political conditions for the possible Chinese domination of North Korea if the Kim regime was ever to collapse.

President Trump Has Confidence China Will “Properly Deal with North Korea”

If history is any indication the Chinese will double-deal the US on North Korea:

Chinese Government Backed Newspaper Warns of Unprecedented Sanctions if North Korea Does Not Back Down

It appears that the Chinese government has gotten the message that President Trump is serious about striking North Korea if they try anything in the near term.  However, will China’s warning towards North Korea be heeded?  I guess we will find out:

Chinese President Xi Jinping called for a peaceful resolution of rising tension on the Korean peninsula in a telephone conversation with U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday, as a U.S. aircraft carrier strike group steamed towards the region.

Trump, in an early morning note on Twitter, said the call with Xi, just days after they met in the United States, was a “very good” discussion of the “menace of North Korea”. The call came as an influential state-run Chinese newspaper warned that the Korean peninsula was the closest it has been to a “military clash” since North Korea’s first nuclear test in 2006.  (……)

China’s Global Times newspaper said in an editorial that North Korea should halt any plan for nuclear and missile activities “for its own security”. While widely read in China and run by the ruling Communist Party’s official People’s Daily, the Global Times does not represent government policy.

The newspaper noted Trump’s recent decision to launch 59 Tomahawk missiles at a Syrian airfield in response to a deadly gas attack last week.

“Not only is Washington brimming with confidence and arrogance following the missile attacks on Syria, but Trump is also willing to be regarded as a man who honours his promises,” it said.

“The U.S. is making up its mind to stop the North from conducting further nuclear tests. It doesn’t plan to co-exist with a nuclear-armed Pyongyang,” it said. “Pyongyang should avoid making mistakes at this time.”

The Global Times said if North Korea made another provocative move, “Chinese society” might be willing to back unprecedented sanctions, “such as restricting oil imports”.  [Reuters]

You can read more at the link.

Trump Says “Lots of Very Potentially Bad Problems Will Be Going Away” After Meeting with Chinese Leader

I guess we will see in the future of this statement includes North Korea or not:

U.S. President Donald Trump said Friday after summit talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping that “tremendous progress” was made in U.S. relations with China and that “lots of very potentially bad problems will be going away.”

“We have made tremendous progress in our relationship with China” Trump said after talks with Xi at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, according to pool reports. “I think truly progress has been made,” he said, calling the relationship with China “outstanding.”

“Lots of very potentially bad problems will be going away,” Trump said.

It was unclear if the “bad problems” include North Korea.  (…….)

The strikes against Syria, which came in the middle of the state dinner Trump hosted for Xi at his Mar-a-Lago estate, could also send a message to China that the U.S. may take unilateral action unless Beijing helps rein in Pyongyang.  [Yonhap]

You can read more at the link.

President Trump Set to Put Heavy Pressure On Chinese Leader Over Support of North Korea

It would probably be interesting to be a fly on the wall to over hear what President Trump and Chinese Premier Xi Jinping will discuss this weekend:

President Donald Trump listens to a question during a town hall with business leaders in the White House in Washington on Tuesday. [AP/YONHAP]

Claiming North Korea is a “matter of urgent interest” for President Trump and his administration, the official added that Trump “has been pretty clear in messaging how important it is for China to coordinate with the United States, and for China to begin exerting its considerable economic leverage to bring about a peaceful resolution to that problem.”

Such issues will come up in their discussions, the official said. “Even though we hear sometimes that China’s political influence may have diminished with North Korea, clearly its economic leverage has not,” pointing out that nearly 90 percent of Pyongyang’s external trade is with its closest ally Beijing.

The Trump administration has been suggesting a paradigm shift from previous U.S. governments on policy toward the North Korea issue, putting the Pyongyang nuclear issue as a top priority for the first time.

Trump’s administration also isn’t shy about the pressure it intends to put on China over North Korea.

In a town hall meeting with business CEOs on Tuesday, Trump said on his upcoming summit with Xi, “I’m sure we’re going to have a fantastic meeting and we’re going to talk about a lot of things, including, of course, North Korea,” which he described as “really a humanity problem.”

“China has great influence over North Korea,” Trump declared in an interview with the Financial Times on Sunday.

“China will either decide to help us with North Korea, or they won’t. And if they do that will be very good for China, and if they don’t it won’t be good for anyone.”

He also said that he will solve the North Korea issue if China won’t do it – and without China’s help.  [Joong Ang Ilbo]

You can read more at the link.

Is China Really Concerned About THAAD’s AN/TPY-2 Radar?

Here is the latest theory on the so called real reason the Chinese are upset with the THAAD deployment to South Korea:

The second hypothesis is, I think, more convincing, and one where Beijing may have legitimate concern about the Gyeongsangbuk-do AN/TPY-2 radar upsetting U.S.-China strategic nuclear stability. Specifically, China may — correctly or incorrectly — fear that its nuclear second-strike capability is significantly degraded as a result of a third U.S. AN/TPY-2 radar going up specifically near the southern tip of the Korean peninsula.

To avoid the need for a massive nuclear build-up and to feel comfortable with its several hundred or so nuclear warheads for targeting, China needs to feel comfortable enough its intercontinental ballistic missiles can reliably penetrate U.S. antiballistic missile countermeasures.  [The Diplomat]

It does not matter what radar is in Korea because the Ground-based Missile Defense (GMD) system fielded by the United States is not designed to shoot down complex ICBMs like the Chinese and Russians both have.  It is designed to intercept non-complex ICBMs from rogue nations like North Korea and Iran.

Here is the part of the article where somebody let out the “good idea fairy”:

Li’s proposed solution for the United States was simple enough: the United States could “deploy its Green Pine radar or another radar with similar capabilities to guide the THAAD interceptors.” Li add that the “THAAD TPY-2 radar does not provide more capability to protect the ROK from the North Korean missile threat relative to a Green Pine-level radar since the TPY-2 radar’s detection range goes too far beyond North Korean territory.” It’s unclear also if a Green Pine radar would synergize with the existing AN/TPY-2s in Japan.

First of all Green Pine is not a US radar, it is an Israeli radar that was sold to the ROK.  The ROK has two of these radars deployed on the peninsula.  THAAD is not designed or tested to use anything but the AN/TPY-2 radar.  If you want to know why the THAAD system uses the AN/TPY-2 radar doing a search on Youtube is a good place to begin.  The Green Pine radar is designed to work with the Israeli Arrow system.  These are two completely different systems with their own complex hardware and software that cannot be mix and matched.

The reason why China is opposed to THAAD is the simplest answer which is they are attempting to create a wedge in the US-ROK alliance.  The Chinese feel that that the US is trying to recreate the old USSR containment strategy against them and thus are taking actions to counter this.  They have made inroads within the Philippines at countering US influence there are are now focusing on the ROK.  With a left wing politician expected to be elected in a couple of months in the ROK we will see if this strategy works for the Chinese.

Why the Chinese Are Strongly Opposing THAAD Deployment

The viewpoint in this article is something that I have been saying for months that the Chinese are using the THAAD deployment to drive a wedge in the US-ROK alliance.  They have had success in the Philippines with this strategy and have been trying to replicate it in South Korea.  We will see if the strategy works when a ROK left wing politician likely gets elected May to the Presidency:

Chinese opposition to South Korea’s deployment of the THAAD missile defense system is less about missiles than about an ongoing effort to weaken—and ideally demolish—the United States’ network of formal and informal alliances in Asia that has underpinned the regional order for the last seventy years.

The THAAD controversy that heated up in 2016 once deployment became likely displays a familiar Chinese modus operandi: First, pick a fight over an allegedly offensive act. Next, follow up with vitriol and veiled threats, and then inflict economic pressure—while making bland denials or declaring it the spontaneous reaction of the righteously offended Chinese people.  [The National Interest]

You can read more at the link.