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2003 March 28 Friday
China Temporarily Cut Oil Pipeline To North Korea

China underlined a private message to North Korea to discourage its development of nuclear weapons by cutting off an oil pipeline for a few days.

The pipeline shutdown, officially ascribed to a technical problem, followed an unusually blunt message delivered by China to its longtime ally in a high-level meeting in Beijing last month, the sources said. Stop your provocations about the possible development of nuclear weapons, China warned its neighbor, or face Chinese support for economic sanctions against the regime.

Get this: The Chinese are using the Iraq war to argue to North Korea that the United States is not just a paper tiger and that North Korea had better stop provoking the United States. Read the article. There are a number of interesting comments in it.

While there is a hardline old school faction in China's military that favors siding with North Korea against the United States the comments that come from some Beijing foreign policy thinkers are a lot more hopeful. They are taking a broader view of China's interests and they increasingly see North Korea as a liability and a dangerous throwback to a previous era.

Update: Until the signals from China about North Korea become a lot clearer we shouldn't become too optimistic that the Chinese will help us reign in the North Korean regime. See my previous posts on the thinking of the Chinese leaders on the US and North Korea.

Reuters has more details.

"It was cut for three days after the second missile," the diplomat quoted Chinese sources as saying, referring to North Korea firing a cruise missile into the Sea of Japan on March 10, Pyongyang's second missile test in two weeks.

Another link for the same article is here.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2003 March 28 05:30 PM  Politics Grand Strategy


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