China will cut off all fuel, food shipments to North Korea: Blackstone’s Byron Wien

Blackstone private wealth vice chair Byron Wien on Friday highlighted some of the biggest surprises he expects to see in 2018 on FOX Business’ “Wall Street Week.”

The Wall Street veteran predicts that China will force North Korea to give up its nuclear development program.

“I think China has something very important to gain. If they were to make the move that I suggest in that surprise, they will become instantly recognized as the world geopolitical leader, alongside the United States and in European sovereign,” he told FOX Business’ Maria Bartiromo.

Last month, as a part of U.N. Security Council sanctions, China announced that it would tighten restrictions on trade with Pyongyang, imposing a cap on oil supplies and banning imports of its steel.

Wien believes that if China cuts off all fuel and food shipments to the hermit kingdom, it will agree to suspend its nuclear program.

“That would bring North Korea to a point where they would reduce if not eliminate their nuclear development program. Not eliminate their arsenal, but eliminate going forward,” he said.

As part of Wien’s surprises for 2018, he also predicts that Democrats will seize control of the House and Senate.

Last December, after defeating Republican candidate Roy Moore during the Alabama special election, Doug Jones became the first Democrat in a quarter of a century to win a Senate seat in Alabama. This narrowed the Republican’s majority in the Senate to 51-49.

“There are never people that think that the Democrats have a good chance of taking the House, but almost nobody thinks the Democrats have a chance to take the Senate. I would say that if the election were held tomorrow, that probably would be the case. All of the events during the [last] year, the Mueller investigation and other things that will cause the Democrats to gain some additional momentum,” he said.

Wien also predicts that the Federal Reserve will raise short-term interest rates four times in 2018, instead of the anticipated three.

“I think individuals are going to be spending because they are going to have more income, and I think that the Fed is going to be sensitive to the economy overheating and I think they’ll raise rates. A lot of people think two or three, I think they are going to go farther,” he said.

Catch Maria’s full interview with Byron Wien at 9 p.m. ET on the FOX Business Network.