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Asia Minute: Regional Perspectives on the U.S.-China Summit

Gage Skidmore / Flickr
Gage Skidmore / Flickr

(As you’ve been hearing today on NPR,) Chinese President Xi Jinping is starting two days of meetings with President Trump today in Florida. The list of potential agenda items is extensive, and is getting wide coverage in the U.S. media. But what about the view from Asia? HPR’s Bill Dorman has some perspectives in today’s Asia Minute.


A common theme in editorials around the Asia Pacific: summit meetings are about both symbolism and substance—and this one may be heavier on the symbolism.

The South China Morning Post has even put up a cartoon video asking and answering, “How Can Xi Jinping ‘Beat’ Trump’s Awkward Handshake?”

On a more serious note, consensus puts North Korea at the top of the agenda.

As for the summit itself, some gentle optimism.

Japan’s Asahi Shimbun writes the meeting “should provide an opportunity for the two superpowers to start exploring a new relationship.”

The state-run China Daily says the brief meeting is “not enough for all questions to be answered, but it can certainly help give a clear and constructive sense of direction to this crucial relationship.”

The Times of India calls the summit “a welcome development.” Although it also suggests President Trump would be “well advised” to host Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi “before long.”

There’s a similar view down under, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports “concerns have been raised Australia will be left behind” if Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull “does not secure a meeting with Mr. Trump.”

So far, there’s only been that one phone call—now famous for its frostiness, but at least in the view of many Australians, in need of a follow-up.

Bill Dorman has been the news director at Hawaiʻi Public Radio since 2011.
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