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Thursday, February 17, 2005

China's stake in a nonnuclear North Korea

Nina Hachigian explains in The Christian Science Monitor why a nuclear North Korea matters to China:

For Beijing, the strategic stakes involved with North Korea going nuclear are extremely high. A nuclear-armed North could produce a cascade effect, leading South Korea, Japan, and even Taiwan to consider developing nuclear weapons programs in response. More nuclear powers would make East Asia less stable. With Japan's bloody invasion of China during World War II an ever-present memory for many Chinese, a nuclear Japan would be a particularly threatening outcome for China. Moreover, the Chinese know that if North and South Korea eventually reunited, the resulting country would eventually become a powerful force in the region that would decide its own geopolitical destiny. China would like to prevent that future country from having nuclear weapons. China also wants to stand shoulder to shoulder with the US when it can.
The key has always been China and a nuclear North Korea matters more to China than it does to us (although it does matter a lot to us.) This is why the Bush diplomatic strategy of insisting on multi-party talks and not appearing to be worried over the situation is the correct one. If China thinks we will fix it on our own, they will let us. If they decide it is up to them, then they will take care of the problem. Obviously no course with North Korea is free from risk, both to our interests and China, and we should work with the Chinese on the solution. However, they are the ones with the negotiating power with North Korea and we need to make them use it.


Blogger Cubicle said...

"With Japan's bloody invasion of China during World War II an ever-present memory for many Chinese,"

that is partly becase the chinese goverment will not let their people forget.

2/18/2005 07:09:00 AM  

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