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.
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

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Researcher: Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor at Symposium on Obesity, Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome says problem involves more than calorie intake, warns of worldwide health impact More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thoughti
X
George Putic
May 26, 2015 9:26 PM
Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.

VOA Blogs