End of the Bromance

End of the Bromance

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I usually like portmanteau words a lot (or rather, I supportmanteau words), but not "Bromance," and certainly not its usage in terms of the relationship between Trump and Xi over the past few months, which had almost no basis in fact. A stroll in a garden and a piece of chocolate cake. Luckily, this week, it looks like the word might be going away. The China-US relationship might be getting rocky, particularly with regard to North Korea. Everyone knows the economic stranglehold that China has on Pyongyang, and to request that it be used to rein it in seems like an obvious step to use, one that Obama should arguably have used more forcefully. But last week we had the North Koreans testing an ICBM missile with the capability of hitting at least Alaska, so the stakes are getting higher. How far this goes, who knows. What would the North Koreans do if the Chinese seriously pressured its economy more to get them to ratchet down the nuclear rhetoric and actions. One presumes there have been some solid conversations on this topic already, and the bottom line, as Pyongyang knows, is that Beijing doesn't want the North Korean status quo to be shifted.

Other noteworthy news this week, probably not unrelated, included China to provide funding to Russian financial entities suffering from US sanctions, and Russia's Gazprom getting close to nailing a huge deal for the delivery of natural gas to China.

Lots of moving pieces out there right now. Have a cool weekend.