News / Asia

Analyst: N. Korean Nuclear Test Could Worsen China Relations

A Chinese flag is hoisted near the Hekou Bridge, right, linking China and North Korea, which was bombed in the 1950's during the Korean War, in Hekou, China, February 7, 2013.
A Chinese flag is hoisted near the Hekou Bridge, right, linking China and North Korea, which was bombed in the 1950's during the Korean War, in Hekou, China, February 7, 2013.
TEXT SIZE - +
As the world waits to see if North Korea will follow through on threats to conduct a third nuclear test, VOA spoke with Professor Jin Canrong at China’s Renmin University’s School of International Studies about the state of relations between Beijing and Pyongyang. Professor Canrong says China’s relations with North Korea have deteriorated since Pyongyang's long-range rocket launch in December, and could further worsen should the North carry out its nuclear test.
 
Q: North Korea recently announced that it will carry on with nuclear tests, and that it will not negotiate on denuclearization. How do these pronouncements fit into China's position in regards to the Korean peninsula?
 
"These points that North Korea has made, that there won't be six party talks, that denuclearization is not up to negotiation, and that negotiation will only be on regional security are in contrast with China's position. So from the look of it, we can see that China and North Korea hold two very different positions."
 
Q: What impact would a third nuclear test have on China North-Korea relations?
 
"In view of technical and political consideration, North Korea will inevitably go ahead with the test. China opposes it, but still North Korea for its reasons will have to do it. That is why I think that [a test] will bring a big harm to the future of China relations with North Korea. I think that after the third test, China will take some sort of measure, but to what extent, we do not know at the moment.
 
The reason why China would take some measure is that our positions are different, we sincerely want denuclearization in the peninsula, and also we are a member of the UN Security Council. We have passed the resolution number 2087, we have promised that if North Korea were to take actions against the resolution, a resolution that the Security Council calls an 'important resolution,' then as members we have to respond."
 
Q: How would China respond to a third nuclear test by North Korea?
 
"The response can include different nature of actions, but I think that it would be economic first, then political, then military. China at the moment thinks that military measures are not good, so it would not take military action. But it might respond by economic and political means. For example have cold diplomatic relations, reduce relations to a lower rank, decrease trade and economic cooperation. . . North Korea's weak spot now is the economy and China's economic measures towards North Korea have very strong effect. So I believe that in the event of a third nuclear test China would take some action on the economic front."
 
Q: How have relations between China and North Korea changed in the past few months?
 
"In the last half of 2012, problems started. His [Kim Jong un] outlook is still like his father's, which is to put military first as a policy. There are some changes on the economic front, but they are very limited, they are not very substantial. So there was a feeling of disappointment [in China]. Up until December when they announced that they would launch the satellite, and everyone thought they were launching a missile. China was very disappointed."
 
Q: How does the new Chinese leadership view North Korea's recent actions?
 
"There is unhappiness among the new leadership because we have just had our Congress, the new leaders really need foreign relations to be stable and use their utmost to solve domestic problems. Because at the moment China's domestic problems are very severe, the economy is slowing down, social unrest, and also the new leadership after it takes power needs to harmonize all sorts of relations [domestically], and also recently this smog, environmental problems. There are too many problems for the leadership, they do not want to have problems abroad."
 
Q: A recent editorial on the nationalistic newspaper "Global Times" called for stronger actions against North Korea, do you think that the views expressed in that op-ed mirror the stance of some leaders in China?
 
"At the moment opinions differ a lot in China as to its position with North Korea. I divide the opinions into two factions, the traditionalists and the revisionists. Now the power of the two is equal, so that means that there is a deadlock. The highest leaders in China at the moment are undecided, hesitant. They are technocrats, they are different than the previous leaders like Deng Xiaoping or Mao Zedong, where they had a resolute point of view. Once they had a view and they did not care about what the subordinates thought they would just act on their point of view. But these technocrats do not have a point of view of their own, they wait for the [subordinates] to come to a agreed judgment and then they act. So as long as the different factions are quarreling, there is no agreed judgment, so the technocrats don't do anything."

You May Like

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid