Thursday, August 24, 2017

China’s Position in the U.S. & North Korean Conflict

China is attempting to play a moderating role in the current conflict between the United States and North Korea over North Korea’s development of intercontinental nuclear missiles. China has argued for restraint on all sides, and signed the United Nations sanctions measure against North Korea on 5 August 2017. A review of Chinese statements in their own media on 14-16 August 2017 indicate China is standing by its sanctions pledge and sees some hope for easing of the crisis:
  • On 14 August China reaffirmed that it was imposing an import ban on coal, iron, iron ore, lead, lead ore and seafood from North Korea as a tool to bring Pyongyang back to negotiations.
  • Some Chinese coverage argued that North Korean threats were just a stratagem to entice the U.S. to cancel its joint military exercises with South Korea.
  • The enthusiasm for joining with the United States in pressuring North Korea may have been blunted somewhat by the White House order to start an investigation into Chinese trade practices.
  • As of 16 August, China appeared to see signs that the crisis was starting to ease, based on North Korean media coverage of Kim Jong-Un’s visit to its Strategic Force Command and the “delay” in any attack decision. 
In general, China has indeed taken upon itself a relatively neutral stance in this conflict. If they stand by their pledge to block key imports from North Korea, this could over time put real economic pressure on North Korea. Whether that would be enough pain to cause North Korea to curtail their weapons programs is still in doubt. China’s statement that it would not support a preemptive strike by North Korea on the U.S. may also help keep this crisis from escalating...READ MORE

Wapack Labs has cataloged and reported extensively on China, North Korea, and sanctions in the past. An archive of related reporting can be found in the Red Sky Alliance portal.