Sunday, December 17, 2006
Chinese v. Pyongyang
"Bitterness in Beijing over North Korea's betrayal may mean war," by Rowan Callick, The Australian, 18 December 2006, http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,20943831-2703,00.html
Very hopeful, if true:
The dynamics have shifted dramatically since the last talks. When Pyongyang tested its first nuclear bomb two months ago, defying pleas from Beijing, it alienated itself from its only ally.
The extent of that alienation has been revealed in essays by China's leading strategic thinkers. The bitter sense of betrayal felt in China about its communist neighbour, on whose behalf 360,000 soldiers, mainly volunteers, died during the Korean war 53 years ago, sets the tone for the extraordinarily frank essays in China Security.
He sees the biggest winner, after the North Korean regime, as Japan - unless China acts firmly against Pyongyang. "If China continues its ambiguous policies on the North Korean nuclear issue, the US will encourage Japan to become nuclearised."
Zhu Feng, director of the international security program at Beijing University, says a recent opinion poll shows 44per cent of Chinese people dislike North Korea more than any other nation. "The Chinese leadership now understands it may have deluded itself about the Kim Jong-il Government pursuing a good-neighbourly policy that Pyongyang would gradually be won over by China's kindness," he says.
Mr Zhu says that while Beijing's support of UN resolutions against Pyongyang's nuclear testing is seen in North Korea as "an act of treachery by its socialist big brother", when the test happened, "in Beijing, ire turned into fury. It was no less than a slap in China's face".
The important meeting of the central committee of the Communist Party three months ago proclaimed that a nuclear North Korea was a formidable challenge to China's "core interests" - a phrase previously used only about Taiwan independence.
Chinese help would be need to kill Kim.