On Wednesday, with its usual provocative punctuality, North Korea completed yet another ballistic test by launching a medium-range missile into the waters of the Sea of Japan, 60 km off the South Korean coast. As if it were necessary, Xi Jinping and Donald Trump rushed to remind us about the North Korean issue in East Asia.
This issue is to be the focus of meetings Thursday and Friday between the leaders of the two major contemporary world powers. The two-day summit at Mar-A-Lago — the Florida resort favored by Trump for meetings when he wants to get to the point, without Washington institutional ceremony — will be the first opportunity for a historic face to face full of unknown variables.
The Chinese are facing difficult times. The idea of The Donald at the White House seemed a communication ploy to add a little pepper to the elections: Deep down, the Chinese leadership would have preferred Clinton, since they are more at ease in dealing with a tough but known opponent than a smoky and elusive bilateral relationship with Trump.