China Once Again Pushing for Freeze to US-ROK Military Exercises

CNN has a long article published advocating for a freeze deal with North Korea by suspending US-ROK military exercises.  As I have long said suspending or degrading the US-ROK alliance is a long term goal of China.  Suspending the upcoming UFG military exercises will only invite more belligerent behavior by North Korea by rewarding bad behavior and further advance China’s strategic goal of ending the US-ROK alliance:

In an editorial Tuesday, nationalistic state-run tabloid Global Times said South Korea should “act as a buffer” between the US and North Korea and urged Seoul to halt the upcoming joint military exercise.
The dual freeze approach put forward by China and Russia often “gets a bad rap” in Washington because of who backs it, said Delury. “But it’s a way for both sides to take a step back, lower the temperature (and) explore a diplomatic option.”
Zhao said such a freeze could “have prevented North Korea from fast advancing their missile programs, especially from acquiring an ICBM capability so quickly.”
However, Pinkston described such a deal as a “completely asymmetric,” pointing out that regular military exercises held by North Korea and China would not be covered by it.  [CNN]
You can read more at the link, but what I think the US should do is say they would sign up for a freeze deal if the punishment for non-compliance by North Korea is the authorization of preemptive strikes to take out their nuclear and missile programs.  The North Koreans would never sign up for such a deal because like past agreements they fully intend to violate it at a time of their choosing.  However, offering this condition shows the US attempted to negotiate and the North Koreans were the ones that would not agree to a deal.

China Puts North Korea on Notice that They Will Not Assist North Korea If They Attack US Soil

This is very interesting that the Chinese government has apparently given the US the go ahead to attack North Korea in response to a strike against US soil, but not to the extent that it leads to regime change:

China won’t come to North Korea’s help if it launches missiles threatening U.S. soil and there is retaliation, a state-owned newspaper warned on Friday, but it would intervene if Washington strikes first.

The Global Times newspaper is not an official mouthpiece of the Communist Party, but in this case its editorial probably does reflect government policy and can be considered “semi-official,” experts said.  (…..)

“China should also make clear that if North Korea launches missiles that threaten U.S. soil first and the U.S. retaliates, China will stay neutral,” it added. “If the U.S. and South Korea carry out strikes and try to overthrow the North Korean regime and change the political pattern of the Korean Peninsula, China will prevent them from doing so.” [Stars & Stripes]

 

You can read more at the link.

President Trump Tweets that He Is “Disappointed” that China Has Done “Nothing” with North Korea

I think President Trump is going to continue to be disappointed by China because nothing has changed that has made it in their interest to do anything about North Korea:

In a pair of tweets Saturday evening, President Trump said he is “disappointed” in China after North Korea fired an intercontinental ballistic missile into the Sea of Japan.

“I am very disappointed in China. Our foolish past leaders have allowed them to make hundreds of billions of dollars a year in trade, yet they do NOTHING for us with North Korea, just talk,” Trump wrote, adding, “We will no longer allow this to continue. China could easily solve this problem!”  [ABC News]

You can read more at the link.

China Increases Threats Against THAAD Deployment in South Korea While Coddling North Korea

It seems like people in South Korea may finally be seeing how two faced China is, it just took a change in the ROK Presidential administration to confirm it:

Residents of Seongju County, North Gyeongsang Province, protest President Moon Jae-in’s order to consult with the U.S. over the temporary deployment of four more launchers of a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery to a golf course in the country where two launchers have already been installed, during a press conference in front of the Ministry of National Defense in Yongsan, Seoul, Monday. / Korea Times photo by Choi Won-suk

China is remaining low key over North Korea’s purported successful test-firing of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) Friday, while criticizing South Korea for its decision to deploy additional U.S. anti-missile launchers to deter Pyongyang’s military threats.

This is part of China’s “two-faced” policy of embracing North Korea as a buffer zone against U.S. military power and bullying South Korea to bring discord to the Seoul-Washington alliance, analysts said Monday.

China apparently toned down its rhetoric, turning a deaf ear to the international community’s condemnation of Pyongyang’s missile launch late Friday night.

It only asked North Korea to “observe the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions and suspend activities that can heighten tension on the Korean Peninsula.”  (……..)

On the contrary, Beijing has intensified its protest against the deployment of a U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery in South Korea, after Seoul decided to install four additional launchers of the system temporarily in addition to the two that are in operation.

On Saturday, the Chinese foreign ministry expressed “grave concerns” over the Moon Jae-in administration’s decision to deploy the additional THAAD launchers.

Saying it “firmly opposes” THAAD, the ministry said the U.S. missile shield “seriously” damages the balance of power in the region while violating China’s national interest. It has urged both Seoul and Washington to suspend the THAAD deployment and withdraw related equipment.  (…..)

“China’s long-term goal is to weaken the U.S. influence in the Asia-Pacific region, and North Korea’s progress in ICBM technology serves its purpose,” said Yang Uk, a senior research fellow at the Korea Defense and Security Forum. “This is because Washington, jointly with Seoul and Tokyo, will have to spend extra time and money against Pyongyang’s ICBMs while Beijing can go ahead with its plan to flex its muscles in the region. It’s no wonder China did not criticize Pyongyang as harshly as it did Seoul.”

“Under these circumstances, I must say China is colluding with North Korea and is being negligent in its duty as a permanent member of the UNSC,” a researcher at the Sejong Institute said on condition of anonymity.  [Korea Times]

You can read more at the link, but you have to love the claim from China that THAAD harms their national interests.  North Korean ICBMs do much more to harm the ROK and the United States’ national interests which China clearly does not care about.

Chinese Ambassador Calls for Withdrawal of THAAD During Meeting on Jeju Island

The Chinese are continuing their efforts to create a wedge in the US-ROK alliance with their ridiculous THAAD claims:

Chinese Ambassador Qiu Guohong speaks during a forum held by the Korea Chamber of Commerce & Industry held on Jeju Island on July 22, 2017. (Yonhap)

China’s top envoy to South Korea called Saturday for a solution to quickly end a monthslong diplomatic row over the deployment of an advanced U.S. missile defense system in South Korea.

Chinese Ambassador Qiu Guohong said the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system had a “serious impact” on the mutual trust between the two countries, calling it “the biggest hurdle” for the development of bilateral relations.

“Many South Koreans say Beijing is retaliating against Seoul. But exchange and cooperation between countries call for political common ground, and we need to quickly find ways to resolve the issue,” Qiu said in a business forum in South Korea’s southern resort island of Jeju.

China has imposed restrictions on South Korean imports and banned the sale of group tour packages to its neighbor in protest of the U.S. missile system in South Korea.

Seoul and Washington said the missile system is only meant to counter North Korea’s evolving nuclear and missile threats. But China has repeatedly pressed South Korea to withdraw the THAAD system out of concern that the deployment could hurt Beijing’s security interests.  [Yonhap]

You can read more at the link.

Chinese Foreign Ministry Claims the US has Stabbed Them in the Back

I think this should end the pipe dream anyone may still be holding  that China would put real pressure on the Kim regime to end their nuclear and missile programs:

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said it was not his country that was threatening North Korea and the answer to the problems did not lie with Beijing.

Mr Geng said: “Recently, certain people, talking about the Korean peninsula nuclear issue, have been exaggerating and giving prominence to the so-called ‘China responsibility theory’.

“I think this either shows lack of a full, correct knowledge of the issue, or there are ulterior motives for it, trying to shift responsibility.”

The spokesman reiterated that China had been making a concerted effort to play a constructive role in the conflict.

He added: “Asking others to do work, but doing nothing themselves is not OK. Being stabbed in the back is really not OK.”  [Daily Express]

You can read more at the link.

Historical Analysis of Why China Will Not Fully Cooperate With the US on North Korea

Here is an interesting historical analysis of the Chinese, Russian, and North Korean relationship during the early years of the Kim Il-sung regime.  This historical analysis does have some interesting parallels on why the Chinese government continues to support the Kim Jong-un regime today:

From left to right: Mao Zedong, Nikita Khrushchev, Nikolai Bulganin, Anastas Mikoyan, Mikhail Suslov, Kim Il-sung, V Shiroky, and Enver Khohgha, At the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the October Socialist Revolution, 1957.

But for all the frustration, North Korea is an important piece on Beijing’s diplomatic board. If played incorrectly, it could backfire on China to the detriment of its bid for global leadership. Bringing Kim to his knees on behalf of the international community does nothing to advance Xi’s vision of a China-centered order in East Asia.

This is not new. Beijing has played this game before—most disastrously in 1956, when then North Korean leader Kim Il Sung brutally purged his political opponents suspected of ties to China and the Soviet Union. Moscow and Beijing intervened on their behalf, but Kim outplayed his allies with Machiavellian guile.

The crisis was also a turning point for China’s relations with North Korea. It was in 1956 that Beijing realized it had to go easy on Pyongyang, despite Kim’s maddening obstinacy, because the alternative was to surrender the country to the Soviet influence. As difficult as Kim was, he kept his distance from Moscow, and he could be an important ally in Beijing’s bid for leadership in the socialist bloc. Overnight, North Korea became an issue in China’s relationship with the Soviet Union, much as today it complicates China’s relationship with the United States.  [China File]

Here is some interesting dialogue between Chinese premier Mao Zedong and the Soviets based off of records released from the Soviet archives:

Mao agreed with Mikoyan that there were serious problems in Pyongyang. Himself a ruthless dictator, Mao claimed Kim, who “still does the Stalin thing,” appalled him. “He brooks no word of disagreement and kills all who tries to oppose him,” Mao said.

But he claimed that China had no influence on the North Koreans. “This time we have to mainly rely on you,” he told Mikoyan. “They won’t listen to China!” Mikoyan retorted that Moscow’s leverage was hardly any better, but Mao disagreed: “They won’t listen to China 100 percent of the time. They won’t listen to you 70 percent of the time.”

Mikoyan said he simply did not understand why Kim was acting this way. Mao knew why: “He is afraid that our two parties are digging under the wall [of his house].”

And Mao, sensing, rightly or wrongly, that Moscow was plotting Kim’s ouster, warned the Soviet envoy they should not try to topple him. The Chinese leader opposed the Soviet practice of overthrowing recalcitrant tyrants. Nor did he think Kim’s regime was as bad as the Soviets claimed. After all, Mao’s own regime was not exactly democratic either. If he helped bring down Kim’s house, he would set a precedent that could one day be used against him.

There was another reason for Mao’s hesitation. He was beginning to challenge Moscow for leadership in the socialist camp. He accused the Soviets of arrogance, and of trying to impose their will on other countries. Much as he feared letting Kim get away with brutalities would lead to North Korea’s collapse, he did not want the Soviets to use him as a proxy.

You look at what is happening today and you see the parallel that the Chinese do not want the Kim regime toppled and have continued to oppose attempts by the US to impose its will on other countries around the world to include North Korea.

It is worth reading the whole article at the link.