China's President Xi Jinping, North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, US President Donald Trump FRED DUFOUR,BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI,TORU YAMANAKA/AFP/Getty Images

A North Korean Opportunity for America and China

China and the US have a shared interest in making nuclear diplomacy work and ensuring that any US-North Korean summit succeeds. A US-North Korean summit that averted a crisis that would benefit neither the US nor China would remind people in both countries of the value of Sino-American cooperation.

NEW YORK – It is not obvious, but North Korea could be the best thing for the relationship between the United States and China since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Whether or not that potential is realized, it is not difficult to understand why it exists.

The contemporary Sino-American relationship was born nearly a half-century ago on a foundation of shared concern about the threat posed to both countries by the Soviet Union. It was a textbook case of the old adage, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.”

Such a relationship could survive just about anything – except the disappearance of the common enemy. And this is of course precisely what happened with the end of the Cold War in 1989 and the demise of the USSR at the beginning of 1992.