Country Reports

Zero-sum reasoning prevailed in Russian writings. The United States is the enemy, and it must be weakened, which authors take satisfaction is happening. A contradictory approach to Trump is apparent: he is fighting valiantly against vested US interests, but his actions are contributing to a rapid decline in US influence. Optimism for Russia centers on its prospects for filling some of the vacuum as the US presence in Asia wanes, especially in North Korea as part of a process of slow denuclearization requiring substantial security and economic incentives and leading to a sharply transformed environment in Northeast Asia. Trump is leading his country into retreat in alliances, in unilateral pursuit of “America First,” and in initiatives with far-reaching impact. Naturally, the centerpiece in coverage was the Trump-Kim Singapore summit on June 12, while the Putin-Xi Beijing summit at almost the same time along with the SCO summit drew attention.

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