Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- March 5, 2019

North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un waves before boarding his train at the Dong Dang railway station in Lang Son on March 2. Photo: Vietnam News Agency/AFP

Philip J. Cunningham, SCMP: The Trump-Kim summit failed, but Kim Jong-un’s China train trek taught us the truth about Beijing’s role

* When Kim, surrounded by lavish praise and rapt attention, took care to avoid dropping cigarette ash or a match on his host’s land, it was a reminder that China’s place atop the hierarchy of communist East Asia is as strong as ever

The US-North Korea summit in Hanoi produced little more than photo ops, but much can be learned from the logistics of the affair. What looked at first glance like material for comedians – Kim Jong-un’s 60-hour journey to Vietnam by train – may be one of the summit’s inadvertent points of success. Not for US President Donald Trump or the North Korean leader, but for China.

Beijing’s transport support to Kim went beyond the technical to the symbolic; as this train chugged across a country vast in territory, rich in history and bulging with economic resources, Kim had only to look out of the window to realise China remains a viable alternative to the US when it comes to brokering political survival. Beijing, in return, received ritual respect, firming up the sense of North Korea as a tributary state while making clear to the US that the hermit kingdom can’t be dealt with without China.

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Commentaries, Analysis, And Editorials -- March 5, 2019

America Must Move Past Its “Sputnik” Moment on North Korea—Or Else -- Harry J. Kazianis, National Interest

China faces ’tough economic’ challenges -- Asia Times

Applause fails to pierce China’s economic gloom -- Gordon Watts, Asia Times

Beijing touts 'Chinese democracy' at annual national congress — but what does that mean? -- Michael Walsh, ABC News Online

Fewer billionaires among China’s lawmakers as 2018 stock market rout crimps their ranks and fortunes -- Yujing Liu, SCMP

Kashmir's fog of war: how conflicting accounts benefit both sides -- Michael Safi and Mehreen Zahra-Malik, The Guardian

Kenya should let the ICJ settle its maritime dispute with Somalia -- Patrick Gathara, Al Jazeera

Germany’s celebration of Iran’s murderous regime is nothing new -- Michael Rubin, Washington Examiner

After 5 years of Ukraine sanctions, where are Viktor Yanukovych's millions? -- Eugen Theise, DW

Latin America's Most Corageous Political Figure in Years -- A. Oppenheimer, Miami Herald

Do Venezuelans Actually Want U.S. Help? -- Megan Janetsky, New Republic

Netanyahu Faces Indictments and a Rising Opposition—Could He Lose Reëlection? -- Bernard Avishai, New Yorker

Censured by Britain, Hezbollah is bigger than ever in Beirut -- Martin Chulov, The Guardian

It is more dangerous to prevent ISIS foreign fighters from coming back to the US than to let them back in the country -- David Malet, The Conversation

Revoking citizenship: How it works across the EU -- Elizabeth Schumacher, DW

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