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

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid