North Korea has been riding high since the Singapore summit; Kim Jong Un is the first North Korean leader to hold court with a sitting US president. Kim had to put less on the table than all past frameworks. He then scored a series of meetings with Chinese leader Xi Jingping and received Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov in Pyongyang.
In his opening remarks, made at the US Chamber of Commerce’s Indo-Pacific Business Forum, Pompeo announced new Department of State infrastructure and connectivity projects worth $113 million in the Indo-Pacific region. These programs, intended to promote development in the digital economy, energy, and traditional infrastructure sectors, “seek to capitalize on economic opportunity with the spirit of freedom and openness,” with partners who share “democratic values.”
The intelligence findings, which were reported by The Washington Post on July 30, raise questions about Pyongyang’s commitment to improve its relations with the United States and seriously move to halt or roll back its nuclear weapons program.
In a significant policy speech in Washington on July 30, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the United States seeks “partnership, not domination,” in the Indo-Pacific. In a thinly veiled reference to China, Pompeo added: “We… have never and will never seek domination in the Indo-Pacific, and we will oppose any country that does.”
What exactly does the Trump administration’s Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP) strategy set out and how can this goal be achieved in an America First era? Robert A. Manning, a resident senior fellow in the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, discussed the strategy in an interview with the New Atlanticist’s Ashish Kumar Sen. Here are excerpts from our interview.
On July 30, Trump said he would be willing to meet with the Iranian leader at any time “with no preconditions.”
“If they [the Iranians] want to meet, we’ll meet,” Trump said at a joint press conference with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte at the White House in Washington.
“Now that both countries [Greece and Macedonia] are doing the last mile [toward normalization], the United States’ focus on this issue is incredibly important. Especially given the fact that there are third actors who do not support the deal that has been reached between Athens and Skopje,” Bushati said in an interview with Atlantic Council Executive Vice President Damon Wilson.
While President Trump had been applying new aluminum and steel tariffs to allies, triggering retaliatory measures against everything from US agricultural products to Harley Davidson motorcycles, China had been rapidly advancing what its leader Xi Jinping immodestly has called “the project of the century.”
The two appear to have gotten along at the recent Group of Seven (G7) and NATO summits. At the former, Conte agreed with Trump that Russia should be invited back into the club of top industrial nations. His political masters in Rome—Conte is a figurehead, real power lies with the party leaders, Luigi Di Maio and Matteo Salvini—have gone so far as to argue that Western sanctions on Russia, imposed after it seized Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, must be lifted.
EU officials temper exuberant expectations of transatlantic truce“European Union representatives told me that they would start buying soybeans from our great farmers immediately. Also, they will be buying vast amounts of LNG!”
That's what US President Donald J. Trump tweeted after his meeting with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker at the White House on July 25, which both leaders praised as a successful de-escalation of tensions that were threatening to turn from a trade skirmish into an all-out war. Trump imposed tariffs of 25 percent on European steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum June 1 and has repeatedly threatened to hike taxes on European cars, which would have been disastrous for Germany.