Country Reports

China’s foreign relations are under extraordinary flux. Sino-US relations are viewed as more perilous than at any time since 1989 with some even going further back to 1979 or 1972. The often-troubled Sino-Japanese relationship has suddenly appeared to stabilize, as long-sought summits by Japan are presumed to be on track. The Sino-North Korean relationship abruptly normalized, leading to three summits in three months and unknown agreement on how best to manage diplomacy. Sino-South Korean ties were upgraded in late 2017 and appear to still be improving, but there remains underlying uncertainty over Chinese pressure against the US-ROK alliance, including THAAD’s continued presence in South Korea. Resistance to the BRI as a debt trap has riled some bilateral ties in Southeast Asia and keeps Sino-Indian relations on edge, even if Trump’s cavalier treatment of many countries limits hedging against China. Meanwhile, Putin remains a prized partner of Xi Jinping, casting doubt on any who disparage Sino-Russian ties.

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