Does Trump’s upcoming NK summit really compare to Nixon’s China visit?

WASHINGTON — Political analysts told TMN that despite comparisons, there are few similarities between President Donald Trump’s scheduled summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un and President Richard Nixon’s unexpected 1972 visit to China.

“Opening China to the world had many components — an almost unofficial alliance against a rising Soviet Union, a slow building up of economic ties with Beijing along with a Chinese leadership that was intent on making slow but massive changes to its economy,” said Harry Kazianis, who is director of Defense Studies at the Center for the National Interest in Washington, D.C. “So far, Kim has shown a potential willingness to give up his nuclear weapons and make small changes to the North Korean economy. However, that is a far cry from a full “opening up.”

“Only that each represents a strategic transformation to get to consensually agreed upon goals,” said Richard Vatz, a professor of political persuasion at Towson University in Maryland.

Nixon’s China summit took the world by surprise given his staunch anti-Communist views and harsh criticism of the People’s Republic. The summit took place several months before the Watergate break-in. That scandal sparked a Congressional investigation that led to impeachment hearings and later Nixon’s resignation.

Trump’s summit would coincide with Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation into potential collusion between members of the Trump campaign and Russian officials. The investigation possibly could lead to obstruction charges. Some Democrats have called for Trump’s impeachment.

Kazianis dismissed suggestions that the summit was arranged as a distraction from the investigation.

“I seriously doubt Trump would orchestrate a summit for some domestic poltical purpose,” he said. “Remember, it was Kim who asked for this summit — not Trump.”

Vatz agreed.

“Trump has been focused on the de-nuclearization of North Korea since even before his election, so there can be no strong argument that it constitutes a strategic distraction,” he said.

But Vatz did say: “No doubt he (Trump) hopes that in fact it will add to his support, which, if successful would make impeachment and Muellerian anti-Trump actions more difficult.”

This article is republished with permission from Talk Media News