On June 21, 2017, Global Times, also known as Huanqiu, China’s official newspaper, published a commentary on the United States’ policy changes toward North Korea after the death of Otto Warmbier, an American college graduate, recently released from a North Korean prison.
Below are some of the key points made in the commentary:
- The fall of a young life is sad, but making important policies emotionally will result in immediate or potential costs.
- Currently, the overall mood of the United States is a little bit over agitated, though the United States has not yet issued any medical explanation of Otto Warmbier’s death.
- Beijing must be wary of the fact that Washington DC may exert greater pressure on Beijing to “work effectively” on the North Korean nuclear issues due to the death of Warmbier, “forcing China to make more commitments.”
- China has done what needed to be done in terms of trying to break through the deadlock on the North Korean nuclear issues. However, China will never play a role as one of “the U.S. allies.” If Washington DC enacts sanctions against some of China’s enterprises as a third party, China and the United States will be in disagreement.
- The North Korean nuclear issues are widely affected and very complicated. It is unrealistic for the United States to solve the problem quickly or even rely on China to solve the problem for the United States. If the American system is only capable of doing simple things, unable to handle complicated situations, then it is very likely that the Korean Peninsula will eventually explode, which will be sad.
- The Asia-Pacific region simply cannot now afford to face any major conflicts between the United States and China. The United States looks cool and confident on the surface; it is also very difficult for the US to handle disagreements between China and the U.S.
Source: Huanqiu, June 21, 2017