Saturday, June 10, 2017

How Much Leverage Does China Have Over North Korea?

Gordon G. Chang, Cipher Brief: China Can Disarm North Korea in the Blink of an Eye

Ambassador Fu Ying, Beijing’s veteran diplomat, said last month that her country had “no leverage” over North Korea unless China addressed Pyongyang’s security concerns.

Whether China addresses those concerns or not, its leverage over Pyongyang is, in a word, overwhelming.

The trend of thinking these days, both inside and outside China, is that Chinese influence over the Kim regime is limited. A White House official reported that Chinese ruler Xi Jinping told his Mar-a-Lago host, President Trump, that China did not possess the sway that the U.S. believed Beijing had. Trump later implied, in comments to the Wall Street Journal, that he accepted the position of his Chinese guest on this issue.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: China can do a lot of things when it comes to North Korea .... but what is unsettling to them is the consequences on what will happen if they use this leverage on the North Korean regime ... i.e. refugees, economic and political turmoil on the border, and the collapse of the North Korean government. That is why for the moment .... the status quo is preferable to Beijing .... and as long as there is no pressure on Beijing ....they are not going to budge. What may change all of this is that the decision by Xi and Trump to have a 100 day period of discussion and analysis on possible North Korean options is now coming to an end. The White House has already signalled that they want a hard line on North Korea ... especially on their nuclear and missile program that the U.S. sees as a national security threat .... and they will want concrete action. Will China budge then .... even if the U.S. uses trade and a $400 billion trade deficit  as their leverage on the Chinese .... we shall see.

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