2003 March 18 Tuesday
Chinese Leaders Concentrating On North Korea

Willy Wo-Lap Lam of CNN has written a revealing analysis of the thinking of China's top leadership over the building North Korea crisis. The Chinese leaders have formed a Leading Group on the North Korean Crisis (LGNKC) which is studying the crisis and attempting to formulate a Chinese strategy for how to respond.

"Beijing has told Pyongyang it will invite a stupendous retaliation from Washington -- in addition to losing all international sympathy -- if it were to launch a pre-emptive strike against the U.S., South Korea or Japan," said the source.

The source said, however, that Beijing was not sure if it could sway Kim.

The Chinese leaders feel they will be put in a bind if the US demands UN Security Council action against North Korea. On one hand they would want to oppose such a move for a variety of reasons. On the other hand, the Chinese want to build up their reputation as serious responsible players on the international stage and don't want to be the sole opponents to Security Council resolutions on North Korea.

This article reports that the Chinese leaders believe the US is not going to wait much longer to confront North Korea. One has to wonder whether they believe this as a result of diplomatic exchanges with the US or because they have well placed intelligence sources in the US government.

Chinese generals are pressuring the civilian leadership of China to supply weapons to help North Korea to defend itself.

Jiang and Hu's difficulties are compounded by the fact that a number of People's Liberation Army (PLA) generals are urging the leadership to accede to Kim's demands for help against possible U.S. attacks.

The Iraq crisis is small stuff compared to what is coming with North Korea. China's position on North Korea is key to determining how the crisis will be resolved. This article very much worth reading in full.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2003 March 18 04:47 PM  Politics Grand Strategy


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