The most consequential trip of the Trump presidency

4. Getting chummy with China is a mistake: President Trump is finding out fast that going all in on a personal relationship with Chinese President Xi Jinping — or, as Trump claims some people refer to Xi, “the king of China” — is a big mistake. Beijing does not give a hoot about Trump’s personal touch; for China, this is just business. And it wants to make sure things in northeast Asia, while tense now, become stable once again — with America doing what it always does with North Korea: accepting the status quo and moving on to bigger problems.

And China has an even bigger reason to hope for stability when it comes to North Korea. Beijing can’t aspire to become the dominant power in the region, and indeed a global superpower, if Washington is fighting wars on the Korean peninsula or upping its missile defenses or arming Tokyo and Seoul to the teeth. Look for Xi to woo the Donald — but let’s hope Trump does not fall for the trap.

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