North-Korea is raising its stakes at the Korean peninsula, putting pressure on its supposed ally China. But China’s dilemma in dealing with its unruly neighbor might offer also opportunities, writes China expert Michael Lee Justin in ChinaUSFocus. It might be a unique chance for China and the US do draw closer.
Michael Justin Lee:
[I]f we play our cards right, this unfortunate situation may well provide the United States with a rare opportunity to draw closer to China on military matters.
Some observers believe that China and North Korea remain comrades-in-arms. This conclusion is at least thirty years out of date.
In actuality however, there is absolutely no love between the two communist neighbors. Any slight comity between the two countries ended when former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping and North Korean founder Kim Il-Sung died. Both were experienced war fighters and absolutely instrumental, for better or worse, in the creation of their countries. So they bonded. But the dauphins in charge of North Korea since the elder Kim’s death have merely been using up their supply of rapidly diminishing Chinese goodwill.
North Korea is not some annoying pain-in-the-butt little brother to China as some think. Actually, North Korea is one of the world’s two or three greatest threats to international security and China knows it. This is not the kind of kid brother anyone cops to. …
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.” 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 remained free.
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 comes to that.
How successful can president Xi Jinping be in rooting out corruption, the China Weekly Hangout is going to ask on Thursday 31 October. How committed is the Xi/Li team to real change? You can read our announcement here, or register for the event here.
Last month, at the China Weekly Hangout, Steve Barru, Miguel de Vinchi and Fons Tuinstra wrapped up the news on Shanghai’s Free Trade Zone, and end in a not-so positive mood about what this new zone is actually going to do.