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

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Video Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid