President Donald Trump will need "creative diplomacy" to resolve the issue of North Korea's nuclear aggression, warned former U.S. Ambassador to China Max Baucus.
Beijing, a long-term ally to Pyongyang, is a key player in this situation, so Chinese engagement remains a crucial tool at Washington's disposal, Baucus, a Democract who served under President Barack Obama, told CNBC on Monday.
While Beijing has helped on international sanctions, mainland officials haven't gone as far as they can to curb Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions for fear of risking instability on the Korean Peninsula, Baucus said.
"If the Peninsula becomes unstable and (North Korean leader) Kim Jong-un goes, South Korea will take control and become another country on China's doorstep under U.S. influence."
But if Trump plays his cards right, he can convince Chinese President Xi Jinping to do more, Baucus said.