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Abe’s moment to call Xi Jinping

9 3 8

Just as journalists unearth bigger truths by following the money, much can be discerned from world leaders’ phone calls.

Following news of North Korea’s sixth nuclear test over the weekend, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe talked with U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Predictable, given that close ties with the presidents of the United States and Russia are top priorities of his prime ministership. But wouldn’t this have been a perfect moment to phone Chinese President Xi Jinping? After all, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un didn’t troll Japan or America with this latest act. The show of force was for Xi’s China.

Sunday’s test crossed Beijing’s red line. China is reasonably tolerant of Kim’s missiles, even those that fly over Hokkaido. It loathes nuclear tests on its border. And the timing of Kim’s provocative act, just as Xi’s Communist Party was detailing plans for its twice-a-decade congress, is no accident. It came, too, just hours before Xi addressed leaders from Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa visiting China for a BRICS summit.

Kim’s likely message to Xi: If you think working........

© The Japan Times