Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Is China Readying Herself For a Unified Korea?

The Asia Times Online's Francesco Sisci argues that "the bombardment proves that Pyongyang does not trust Beijing," as it occurred "while US special envoy Stephen Bosworth was traveling to Beijing to discuss with China the conditions necessary for a return to the six-party talks," and was "therefore a policy statement toward China and the US" — Neighborly love running out.

"The shelling has caused Beijing to lose face," the author notes. "In light of the threat an unchecked North Korea poses, there are mounting calls for its elimination," and "the Americans or the South Koreans may want to go to war with North Korea regardless of the costs." The author argues that "[i]f Hu presents Pyongyang's scalp to America, bilateral relations could take a turn for the better," and that such "scenarios are no longer fantasies."

"In the coming days, if there is no resounding reverse from the North - which is not impossible - those people in Beijing who are tired of their pesky neighbor or those in Washington who are fed up with Pyongyang's unending blackmail might get their way," writes Mr. Sisci, concluding, "Perhaps, then, we are on the verge of a breakthrough over the fate of North Korea and with it the entire status quo in Asia."

Also writing for the Asia Times Online, Sunny Lee writes, "In the court of international opinion, whenever North Korea creates a problem, China - as Pyongyang's major backer and economic benefactor - is held responsible," going on to suggest, "To some scholars, that is a too simplistic reading of the provocations that have brought the Korean Peninsula to the brink of war" — Fall guys in Beijing need better PR. She quotes Professor B.Z. Myers, an American professor of international studies at Dongseo University:
    There is going to be a conflict [between North Korea] with South Korea and the US, I would say, in the near future. And North Korea is going to lose and collapse. China is going to have a unified Korea on its border anyway. China needs to realize the fact and needs to allow North Korea to collapse sooner, rather than later. Because the later North Korea collapses the greater the conflict is going to be, the greater the damage is going to be in the entire region. So, China really needs to be turning off the aid to North Korea.
Finally and most tellingly, The Guardian's Simon Tisdall reports, "Leaked dispatches show Beijing is frustrated with military actions of 'spoiled child' and increasingly favours reunified Korea" — Wikileaks cables reveal China 'ready to abandon North Korea'.

Specifically, "South Korea's vice-foreign minister said he was told by two named senior Chinese officials that they believed Korea should be reunified under Seoul's control, and that this view was gaining ground with the leadership in Beijing." Also, "Chinese officials assessed that it could cope with an influx of 300,000 North Koreans in the event of serious instability, according to a representative of an international agency, but might need to use the military to seal the border."

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Blogger Pints in NYC said...

I always wondered, I suspect my pondering will soon be answered in reality - will the US hand over Taiwan to China in exchange for N. Korea?

11:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope you are right.

11:32 AM  

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