On February 27, Xinhua News Agency dispatched a commentary with a metaphor indicating that the Lotte Group’s approval of a land swap deal to enable South Korean authorities to deploy the controversial U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system was tantamount to “stabbing China in the back.” Continue reading
Zhang Liangui, a professor at the Institute of Strategy Studies, Central Party School and an expert on Korea Peninsula issues, talked about the possible U.S. approaches to dealing with North Korea.
“Trump might talk to North Korea first to find out if it plans to give up nuclear weapons. If it says it ‘absolutely will not give them up,’ Trump will cut the talk and go down the showdown track. If it says ‘I will give them up,’ Trump might give it a timetable. For example, ask it to abolish nuclear weapons in two years and specify the goal for the first month, second month, third month, etc. … If North Korea misses a milestone, the U.S. can take the showdown path. In other words, the U.S. would want North Korea to comprehensively, verifiably, and irreversibly abolish nuclear weapons.”
Source: Weinxin, February 15, 2017
BBC Chinese recently reported that, at the last minute, Chinese Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng cancelled his February 23 visit to the Philippines. Gao originally planned to sign around 40 infrastructure investment project agreements during this trip. Neither side provided an explanation for the cancellation. However, Philippine Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay commented in the ASEAN (The Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Foreign Ministers’ Conference that China constructing artificial islands in disputed territories may change the rules of the game. He also immediately added that the Philippines was very happy with its relationship with China and that China promised there would be no more construction. The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs commented that China wishes Yasay would act in line with his own President.
Source: BBC Chinese, February 23, 2017
After China understood that the South Korea Company Lotte would remain firm in its position with the Korean government on the exchange of land for the deployment of the “THAAD” anti-missile system, China’s state media Global Times published an article threatening that Lotte should prepare for the consequences. Continue reading
BBC Chinese recently reported that the Chinese Ministry of Commerce announced on February 18 that it will ban coal imports from North Korea. China’s announcement explained that this ban was to implement UN Resolution 2321. The ban will remain effective until the end of this year. Observers around the world expressed the belief that this Chinese ban is the response to North Korea’s missile launch on February 12. It may also be the answer to the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s brother Kim Jong Nam in Kuala Lumpur on February 13. This new coal ban is a very important development since coal is the single most critical export product of North Korea and China has bought nearly all North Korean coal exports. The income from coal exports is considered an important pillar of North Korea’s economy. Previously, China promised to implement the UN resolution only under the condition that the sanction should not have a damaging impact on the civilian population of North Korea.
Source: BBC Chinese, February 18, 2017