News / Asia

China Pressured to Act Against N. Korea

China Pressed to Take Action Against North Koreai
X
February 20, 2013 7:05 AM
North Korea’s third nuclear test drew international criticism, but options for punishing Pyongyang may remain limited. A key factor is how China responds. VOA's William Ide reports that although officials in China have clearly expressed misgivings over the test, Beijing has yet to show any signs it is prepared to cut critical support for the North.
China Pressed to Take Action Against North Korea
William Ide
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

Multimedia Obama Defends Immigration Action

Obama says with his executive action on immigration, enforcement resources will be focused on 'felons, not families; criminals, not children' More

US-Led Airstrikes in Syria Kill Over 900: Monitoring Group

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the toll includes more than 50 civilians, five of them women and eight of them children More

Report: Obama Broadens US Combat Role in Afghanistan

The New York Times says resident Barack Obama has signed a classified order extending the role of US troops in Afghanistan for another year 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.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid