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How Trump Used Twitter to Get What He Wanted from China

The president used his Twitter feed to bring China to the table on North Korea. Will their talks lead to a lasting, non-violent solution to the North Korea problem?

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On Tuesday morning, President Trump issued an ultimatum to China via tweet: help us on North Korea, or the U.S. will help itself.

Trump’s tweet may have helped bring China to the table. On Wednesday morning, Chinese President Xi Jinping called Trump to offer its assistance “on ending North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.” The Associated Press reported:

Beijing is willing to work with Washington on ending North Korea’s nuclear weapons program but wants a peaceful solution to the escalating conflict, Chinese President Xi Jinping told President Donald Trump in a phone call Wednesday.

Xi’s comments came after Trump tweeted that China should do more on an issue that Washington sees as an increasingly urgent threat, or else the U.S. would go it alone.

Trump offered praise for Xi on Wednesday morning, in a new tweet:

Is this the most prominent example to date of Trump’s Twitter diplomacy at work? The president has taken a carrots-and-sticks approach to governing, and the Twitter stick seemed to work on Xi this time.

More importantly: will it last? With a U.S. carrier headed to the Korean Peninsula and a rogue North Korea declaring it’s ready to go to war if necessary, Trump may need a lot more than his Twitter handle to end an escalating crisis.