China takes milder stance on North Korea nuclear testing

Andrew Sachais | Contributor

Fear of violence and political instability has led to China’s milder stance on North Korean nuclear testing, Reuters reports.

“Beijing chides North Korea, but nothing much happens,” the article states.

In November, Reuters ran a piece describing the United States’ “pivot” to the East. As the East starts building up power, the West looks to keep its foreign policy up to speed.

“Our military presence in the region helps to maintain peace and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific,” said Major Catherine Wilkinson, a Pentagon spokeswoman.

Now, threatened by the U.S. military’s “pivot” to Asia, Beijing is even less likely to fall in line with Washington’s position on North Korea.

“Foreign policy experts in China say Beijing’s priorities differ from those of the United States and allies South Korea and Japan. Instability on a sensitive border is a greater immediate concern than the North Korean nuclear problem,” claims the article.

“Not only are there many other ways China provides economic support to North Korea, but Beijing is not going to push the regime to the wall, because they don’t want a war and they don’t want a change to the status quo that favors the U.S.,” said Stephanie Kleine-Ahlbrandt, the Beijing-based Northeast Asia director for the International Crisis Group.

President Barack Obama in his state of the Union address, Tuesday night, discussed the civilized world’s discontent with the way North Korea is handling its nuclear operations.

“The regime in North Korea must know they will only achieve security and prosperity by meeting their international obligations,” Obama said.

He did not mention any roles played by China, but increased support could warrant  U.S. pressure on Chinese relations with North Korea.

Tags : china north korea state of the union
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