While I greatly appreciate the efforts of President Xi & China to help with North Korea, it has not worked out. At least I know China tried!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 20, 2017
President Donald Trump took to his favored social media platform on Tuesday to note that while he “greatly appreciate[s] the efforts of President Xi and China to help with North Korea,” attempts to cool relations between the U.S. and the hermit kingdom have “not worked out.”
The tweet appears to be something of a passive aggressive jab at China and its president, Xi Jinping, who in the first months of Trump’s presidency was working with the White House to address an increasingly belligerent North Korea.
Xi met with Trump at Mar-a-Lago in April, and the two leaders appeared to develop a good rapport, despite U.S. officials criticizing Beijing for not putting enough pressure on North Korea in response to Kim Jong Un’s nuclear program.
In an interview with the Financial Times from April, Trump said that “China has great influence over North Korea.”
“And China will either decide to help us with North Korea, or they won’t,” he continued. “If they do, that will be very good for China, and if they don’t, it won’t be good for anyone.”
Now, it appears Trump has given up hope that China would help soothe tensions between Washington D.C. and Pyongyang. His tweet comes in the wake of the death of Otto Warmbier, an American student who died on Monday after he spent more than a year imprisoned in North Korea for stealing a poster.
Foreign policy Twitter kicked into overdrive in response to Trump’s passive aggressive missive, which could signal a large shift in relations with Beijing:
Incredible statement, considering Trump’s whole North Korea policy during the campaign was: a strong POTUS could make China fix it fast https://t.co/nL46I3IsnD
— Alex Burns (@alexburnsNYT) June 20, 2017
What in the world does this mean https://t.co/TY71k31ZF5
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) June 20, 2017
Trump previously said he didn’t label China a currency manipulator because “they are working with us on the North Korean problem” https://t.co/cBAPE0S4Zf
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) June 20, 2017
It’s just good manners to post a polite tweet before plunging into a global crisis. https://t.co/XyRl0oe0LU
— Dave Itzkoff (@ditzkoff) June 20, 2017
This is ominous…does this means he’s moving on to other ways of dealing with North Korea? https://t.co/5wyMovbXrT
— Jeremy Diamond (@JDiamond1) June 20, 2017
If there’s any substance to this tweet, we’ve just witnessed the 1st time a President has announced a major foreign policy shift on Twitter. https://t.co/cAWDViWpT8
— Jonathan Swan (@jonathanvswan) June 20, 2017
He talks about these layered, complex geopolitical issues the way a below-average-intelligence 6th-grader talks about cafeteria drama https://t.co/Sz8d68U5RI
— Jesse Singal (@jessesingal) June 20, 2017
[image via screengrab]
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