US President-elect Donald Trump waves to the media from the steps of the clubhouse of Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey on November 20, 2016. File photo: CFP
US president-elect Donald Trump is misguided in lashing out at China in his latest Twitter tirade over the North Korean nuclear issue, which only shows up his ignorance about this issue, Chinese experts said.
Trump on Tuesday posted two tweets in succession, which said "North Korea just stated that it is in the final stages of developing a nuclear weapon capable of reaching parts of the US. It won't happen!" and "China has been taking out massive amounts of money & wealth from the US in totally one-sided trade, but won't help with North Korea. Nice!"
Trump was referring to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's New Year address which said the country would continue to strengthen its national defense, including nuclear capabilities, as long as the nuclear threat from the US exists.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said China is firm on denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, and that China and the US should seek solutions to trade frictions on the basis of mutual respect. "Trade between China and the US is essentially mutually beneficial and a win-win for both, which has been proved by facts," Geng told a press conference on Tuesday.
China has already done almost everything it can to promote a peaceful solution of the North Korean nuclear issue, Lü Chao, a research fellow from the Institute of China's Borderland History and Geography Studies at the Liaoning Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times.
"We set up the platform for the Six-Party Talks, and recently, with China's assistance, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 2321, the harshest sanctions ever to target North Korea's nuclear program," Lü said. China started to act upon the resolution as soon as it passed, even though China will also suffer economic losses. "What else does Trump expect us to do?" he asked.
Trump's tweets show he does not understand that China is also strongly against North Korea acquiring nuclear weapons, said Song Zhongping, a Hong Kong-based military expert who used to serve in the People's Liberation Army Second Artillery Corps (now called the Rocket Force).
"If we recognize North Korea's status as a nuclear armed state, South Korea and Japan will also ask for nuclear capability. China absolutely opposes nuclear proliferation in Asia," Song said. "We do this [oppose North Korean nuclear tests] not only for the US but also for ourselves."
In addition, Trump has mixed up China-US trade with the nuclear issue, Lü added. Mimicking Trump's tone, a Web user with the name laoyoutiao commented on news portal guancha.cn, "The US also borrowed massive amounts of money from us, but didn't help us with Taiwan."
It is the US, not China, that holds the key to solving North Korea's nuclear problem, Lü said.
China agrees on using tough measures to warn North Korea; but the US should stop its massive joint military drills with South Korea that provoke the North, Lü said. The deployment of the US Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system not only provokes Pyongyang, but also undermines China and Russia's nuclear deterrence and further complicates the situation, he said.
Despite Kim's announcement that North Korea has "entered the final stage of preparation for the test launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile," it doesn't mean North Korea has gained the needed technology to launch nuclear missiles as far as the US mainland, Song said.
In order to reach US territory, North Korea would need to develop multistage rockets and technologies to allow warheads to re-enter the atmosphere, and miniaturize those warheads. Song said it has not acquired such technologies.
"It is unwise for North Korea to launch provocative action first, as it will make it difficult for Trump to change from Obama's policy and start pragmatic negotiations with him," Lü added.