When Chinese President Xi Jinping meets with U.S. President Donald Trump sometime soon, it would be in the interest of both politicians to find common ground on the threat posed by North Korea. But that's a lot more easily said than done.
"If it isn't primarily about North Korea, it's a mistake," said Derek Scissors, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and chief economist of the China Beige Book. In fact, the threat posed by the pariah state may be one of the few topics on which Beijing and Washington share common ground.
"The administration is not really prepared to engage China on a broad number of issues," Scissors said. The United States and China remain far apart on trade, currency issues, foreign investment and other economic topics.
Trump's White House has in recent weeks refrained from much of the tough talk it directed at China during the campaign and immediately after the election. Meanwhile, the administration has made North Korea a foreign-policy priority — new Defense Secretary Jim Mattis made his first overseas trip to South Korea.