News / Asia

Will China Shift Its Stance on N. Korea?

Chinese President Xi Jinping attends a meeting with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing April 12, 2013.
Chinese President Xi Jinping attends a meeting with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing April 12, 2013.
VOA News
Weeks of threats by North Korea against the South and the United States have provoked strong criticism from countries around the world. However, the response from Pyongyang's longtime ally China has been more nuanced.

During a recent phone conversation with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said China would not allow any troublemaker at its doorstep. Similar warnings came from Chinese president Xi Jinping who said that “no country should be allowed to throw a region and even the whole world into chaos for selfish gain.”

Neither comment specifically mentioned North Korea, reflecting Chinese officials' reluctance to criticize the North directly. But in state-backed media, the language has been more blunt.

A commentary on China's bilingual state newspaper, the Global Times, said on Friday that it is imperative for China to adjust its policy toward North Korea. However, the paper also said abandoning Pyongyang is not an option for Beijing's leaders.

“North Korea is not a chess piece for China,” the Chinese version read.

On Thursday, the same newspaper lashed out against North Korea's “hardline and deceptions,” saying Pyongyang's extremist posture is endangering regional peace.

The varying viewpoints in official newspapers hint at the internal debate and deep concern that leaders and the public have over a military confrontation on the Korean peninsula.

Wang Dong, director of the Center for Northeast Asian Strategic Studies at the School of International Relations at Beijing University, says China recognizes the risk brought about by North Korea's actions.

“We are at a very dangerous point, and any kind of miscalculation or accident might just lead to a disastrous war,” he said.

Wang said that although North Korea and China had a very special relationship in the past, that does not mean Beijing will tolerate more provocations.

“We have to think really seriously about whether North Korea has become a liability to our strategic interests, and personally I think that because of what North Korea has been doing in recent years, it has created increasingly more damage in China's strategic and security interests,” he said.

After North Korea conducted its third nuclear test last February, Beijing signed U.N. sanctions to stop investment to North Korea that might be used to develop nuclear weapons. But Chinese officials have been wary of taking further actions against a neighbor whose economy deeply relies on Beijing's investment and aid.

Bolder stances have come from Chinese scholars.

Earlier this year, Deng Yuwen, a prominent journalist at a Communist Party weekly, argued in a Financial Times essay that North Korea had become a liability and China should abandon it. Following the publication of the commentary, Deng was suspended from his post.

Wang Fan, a professor of International Relations at the China Foreign Affairs University in Beijing, acknowledges that there is divergence of opinion among his fellow North Korea observers over whether China's alliance with North Korea will in the long run serve Beijing's purposes.

But he said that especially in this moment of crisis, China cannot abandon its exchanges with North Korea.

“Exchanges do not mean at all that we accept North Korea's status as a nuclear country,” Wang said, “they do not mean at all that we believe that North Korea's actions right now are correct.”

Wang added that only by continuing contacts with North Korea can China influence the country to tone down its rhetoric and stop provocations.

But mounting pressure from the Chinese public might, in some analysts view, force Beijing's hand into rethinking their alliance with North Korea.

“[Among the Chinese public] there is a growing dissatisfaction and anger towards North Korea and what North Korea has been doing,” says Beijing University professor Wang Dong.

He says that in the long run, that public dissatisfaction could give confidence to Chinese leaders to adopt a new approach to North Korea.

You May Like

Photogallery Snowstorm Sweeps Northeastern US

update 'This is nothing like we feared it would be,' New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says; he had warned storm could be one of worst in city history More

Millions of Displaced Nigerians Struggle With Daily Existence

Government acknowledges over a million people displaced in 2014 due to fight against Boko Haram insurgency More

Facebook: Internal Error to Blame for Outages

Temporary outage appeared to spill over and temporarily slow or block traffic to other major Internet sites 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.
Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visiti
X
Aru Pande
January 26, 2015 9:33 PM
U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visit

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video US, EU Threaten New Russia Sanctions Over Ukraine

U.S. President Barack Obama has blamed Russia for an attack by Ukrainian separatists that left dozens dead in the port of Mariupol and cast further doubt on the viability of last year’s cease-fire with the Kyiv government. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington.
Video

Video White House Grapples With Yemen Counterterrorism Strategy

Reports say the U.S. has carried out a drone strike on suspected militants in Yemen, the first after President Barack Obama offered reassurances the U.S. is continuing its counterterrorism operations in the country. The future of those operations has been in question following the collapse last week of Yemen’s government. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Kerry Warns Against Violence in Nigeria Election

US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Nigeria Sunday in a show of the level of concern within the U.S. and the international community over next month’s presidential election. Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Saudi, Yemen Developments Are Sudden Complications for Obama

The death of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and the collapse of Yemen’s government have cast further uncertainty on U.S. efforts to fight militants in the Middle East and also contain Iran’s influence in the region. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports on the new complications facing the Obama administration and its Middle East policy.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid