News / Asia

China Pressured to Act Against N. Korea

North Korea’s third nuclear test drew international criticism, but options for punishing Pyongyang may remain limited. A key factor is how China responds. Although officials in China have clearly expressed misgivings over the test, Beijing has yet to show any signs that it is prepared to cut critical support for the North.
 
China has already voiced its displeasure -- repeatedly and in public -- over North Korea's third and biggest nuclear test. The Foreign Minister has even summoned Pyongyang’s ambassador in Beijing to protest the test.
 
But it remains unclear what actions it is prepared to take to deal with the intensifying standoff.
 
Analysts in China say Beijing’s displeasure with Pyongyang has been building since North Korea carried out a satellite launch in December that the United States and others say was part of an effort to develop a ballistic missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.
 
Jin Canrong, a professor at Renmin University in Beijing, says both the nuclear test and missile launch come as China’s leaders are in the middle of a once-in-a-decade transition. He says the North’s actions have angered China’s new leaders.
 
Jin says China is dealing with the problem of a slowing economy, social unrest, the consensus building of leadership transition and even the environmental problem of smog. Jin says that with so many domestic issues on its plate, China does not want to have to deal with external problems as well.
 
Xi Jinping, Dec. 5, 2012.Xi Jinping, Dec. 5, 2012.
x
Xi Jinping, Dec. 5, 2012.
Xi Jinping, Dec. 5, 2012.
Last November, Xi Jinping and six other leaders took up prominent positions within the Communist Party, becoming its new core leadership. The political transition will be complete next month when Xi becomes China’s next president.
 
While officials have said little about the concrete steps they could take to express their anger over the test, the Chinese public has been more vocal.

Chinese protestors have expressed their concerns online and in public to the latest nuclear blast from as far away as Guangzhou in the south to Harbin in the north.
 
Some have even suggested that China, as North Korea’s key economic ally, should cut off Pyongyang completely.
 
Jin says that China may take some political and economic measures to respond to the North’s test such as taking a cooler approach to diplomatic ties or easing off on trade.
 
Jin says that the economy is North Korea’s weakest point and if China were to take any economic measures, that could have the biggest impact.
 
According to official statistics and analysis, China’s trade with North Korea is booming, growing from nearly $300 million in 1999 to nearly $6 billion in 2011.
 
Still, some question just how much influence China really has on the North and whether tougher measures would help.
 
“China does have some leverage including its trade ties with North Korea," explained Wang Dong, a political scientist at Peking University. "But the North Koreans are very tough people, and historically I think China has never been able to, quote unquote, control North Korea.”
 
Wang agrees that the North’s nuclear test has put Beijing in a tough situation.
 
“North Korea’s provocations have brought a lot of damage to China’s strategic interests, and that is something I think China is really angry about, but at the same time, I think China is very much concerned about the stability of the Korean peninsula,” Wang said.
 
On Monday, the European Union announced measures to strengthen trade and economic sanctions against North Korea, growing its travel ban and asset freeze list. The United States is calling for stronger sanctions at the United Nations Security Council.
 
China’s Foreign Ministry has expressed its resolute opposition to the test, but wants Security Council deliberations to focus on moving toward denuclearization on the peninsula, stopping nuclear proliferation and peace and stability.

You May Like

ASEAN Ministers to Push for S. China Sea Agreements

According to documents obtained by VOA Khmer, ministers will stand up for 'freedom of navigation, unimpeded lawful maritime commerce, trade and over flight' More

Puerto Rico Defaults on $58M Debt Payment

Payment was due Saturday, default is first in country's 117 years as a United States possession More

Turkish Public Fears Jihadists More Than Kurds

Turkey facing twin threats of terrorism by Islamic State and PKK Kurdish separatists, says President Erdogan’s ruling AK Party More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Communityi
X
Sharon Behn
August 03, 2015 2:23 PM
A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs