Signs are strong that North-Korea is preparing for another rocket launch. And although that is bad news, suggests Michael Justin Lee in the Washington Times, it might help China and the US to get closer to each others. China is not as close with North-Korea as some thing, he says.
Michael Justin Lee:
For his part, Kim Jong Un, the current Supreme Leader (that actually is his title, along with Chairman of the Central Military Commission and Supreme Commander of the Korean People’s Army. You believe the ego of that guy?), doesn’t feel very positive toward China either. True, North Korea would starve if not for China’s food aid. Yet the old saying about a receiver hating a giver certainly applies here. There’s no reason to think that the Supreme Leader would listen to China now. His father and grandfather weren’t particularly subservient either.
So why does China aid North Korea? China’s giving should not be seen as charity as much as realpolitik. Another old saying applies, the one about the devil you know versus the devil you don’t. China’s leaders may detest North Korea’s, but they can see what true anarchy looks like in post-war Iraq. The ramifications of a starving country collapsing next door, particularly one with nuclear capabilities, are considered far, far worse than the cost of supplying them with some food. For now.
But it is only a matter of time before the Supreme Leader, who is known unaffectionately in China as Fatso Kim the Third (Dad and grandpa were Fatso Kim the Second and Fatso Kim the First, respectively. We are a plain speaking people.), goes “too far” with his delusionary behavior. We don’t know exactly where that point is. But it would be best if the lines of communication between the Presidents of the United States and the China were kept open despite the Federal government shutdown here.
It would be an irony of truly historic proportions if two of the enemy combatants of the Korean War were to ally on the Korean peninsula. But let us hope it eventually comes to that.
Michael Justin Lee is a speaker at the China Speakers Bureau. Do you need him at your meeting or conference? Do get in touch or fill in our speakers’ request form.
Last Sunday China opened its Shanghai Free Trade Zone. At the +China Weekly Hangout of October 3 we will explore some of the directions of China’s new policies, despite a huge amount of ambiguity in the current rules. You can read our initial announcement here, or register here for the event.
Are the cyber wars a new cold war in a new coat, the China Weekly Hangout asked on June 27? Joined by media lecturer Paul Fox from HKU, security consultant Mathew Hoover from Hong Kong and China-Africa scholar Winslow Robertson from Washington DC. Moderation by Fons Tuinstra, of the China Speakers Bureau, from Lausanne, Switzerland.