Wednesday, November 25, 2009

China, An Acrobat on Korean Issues

China does not want to see a collapsed North Korea, a nuke-armed North Korea, or a united Korea like Germany after the cold war. For this sake, China has been trying to pull a stunt on the problem regarding Korean peninsula on the world stage.

To ease the worry of the little brother North Korea, Chinese Defence Minister Liang Guanglie has arrived in Pyongyang since Nov. 22, 2009, four days after U.S. president Barrak Obama wrapped up his state visit in China.

When meeting with Pyongyang's defence chief Kim Yong-Chun, Liang emphasized the “sealed-in-blood” friendship between China and North Korea, which was built since the 1950-1953 Korean War. To express the gratitude to the goodwill from China, Kim Jong Il, top leader of the North Korea, met Liang on Nov. 25, 2009 and said the friendship of the two countries had stood a historic test and was unbreakable.

From Chinese Defence Minister Liang’s visit to North Korea we can see, China does not want a toppled Kim’s regime. From the lessons of NATO eastward expansion and a united Vietnam, China realized that a united Korea would not fit China’s interests. And more, if Kim’s regime collapsed, a mass of refugees would influx into China to cause much impact on the Chinese society.

Recent years, under the help of U.S., South Korea’s military force has become much stronger than that of the north. Trying to find a new balance, North Korea has to develop atomic weapons as its last straw before drowned. But a nuclear-armed Kim is who China does not want to see either.

Look at the neighborhood of China, China now has already surrounded by nuke-armed countries such as Russia, Pakistan, India. If North Korea had nuclear bombs, China’s surroundings would be unstable more; especially North Korea is so close to its political center Beijing.

To persuade Pyongyang to eliminate its nuclear weapons capabilities, China has hosted the six-nation talks since 2003. The six nations include the two Koreas, the United States, China, Russia, and Japan. The journey has been proved to be not easy to go. North Korea quit the talks in April 2009, a month before it tested a second atomic weapon. Pyongyang said in Oct. 2009 it was ready to return to the talks, but only if bilateral meetings with the US make progress.

The recent situation is, to convince Kim to disarm his nuclear weapon, Beijing has to make Kim believe, once North Korea has discarded its nuclear bombs, China can be a reliable umbrella, and Kim’s regime will not be devoured by the south. This goal is not easy to achieve, because Kim is not a person who likes to hand over himself to the hands of other countries. Furthermore, the fate of the former Iraqi president Saddam maybe always reminds Kim the importance of nuclear weapons.

On the stand of the United States, the only worry to the sudden collapse of Kim’s regime is the nuclear technology could fall into the terrorists. The south side is worrying on the possible disasters caused by ruined economic system, refugees, and out-of-controlled military after the sudden collapse of the north regime. Russia does not want U.S. claims more benefits on the Korean peninsular after U.S and NATO have won too much in East Europe.

Knowing this kind of mess that each country has its own calculation on Korean issues, China will still keep “sealed-in-blood” relationship with North Korea for its own interests, although most of the world does not like Kim’s regime. I believe, in a long period, China will continue pulling such a balance-finding stunt on the world stage to sustain the life of Kim’s regime. Anyway, the world itself has offered a room for the breath of Kim’s regime.