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Huangqiu Editorial: China Needs to Be Prepared If the Relationship between China and North Korea Gets Worse

On April 28, Huangqiu published an editorial article on the relationship between China and North Korea. Below is the translation of a few key points from the article.
1) The relationship between China and North Korea has gotten worse. Since King Jong Un became the top leader, there have been no meetings between the top leaders of the two countries. Even though a diplomatic exchange between the two remains open, little strategic trust is left and a serious communication barrier exists between the two.
2) As tension in the situation on Korean Peninsula is increasing, the relationship between China and North Korea could get worse. Pyongyang might openly criticize Beijing or make unfriendly moves. China should be prepared for this.
3) Some Chinese residents are concerned that, as the relationship between China and North Korea gets worse, China will lose its bargaining advantage with South Korea and the U. S. It will also miss the strategic shield in North East Asia. We should be aware that, at this moment, North Korea has a direct conflict of interest with China’s national strategic interest. In the long term, there is no doubt that China still has control over the relationship between these two countries. As long as North Korea gives up on nuclear weapons, these two countries can easily go back to the normal relationship that they had before. Beijing can encourage Pyongyang to loosen up on its attitude on nuclear weapons. However if Pyongyang keeps pushing the conflicts to the irrational edge, China has the ability to be in charge of the situation completely so as to protect China’s national security.
4) Frankly speaking, “double suspension” is the ultimate goal for China. China does not have much of a bargaining chip to pressure the U.S. and South Korea. We need to be very clear with the U.S. and South Korea that China is not the key party in resolving North Korea nuclear issues. China will not use the interest of the U.S. and South Korea to set its policy towards North Korea. The U.S. and South Korea should line up their thoughts close to ours rather than try to use theirs to overpower ours. Beijing wishes to find a common ground that benefits all party’s interests and advocacy. If this fails, the solution to the situation on the Korean Peninsula has to be put on table. China is not afraid of North Korea nor does it fear the U.S. and South Korea. We have enough power to fight back against any parties that will cross the red line of China’s national interest.

Source: Huanqiu, April 28, 2017