Trump’s wrong tweet no help to solving NK nuke issue

Source:Global Times Published: 2017/7/30 23:23:39

Following North Korea's latest missile test Friday night, US President Donald Trump complained on Twitter the next day, saying "I am very disappointed in China. Our foolish past leaders have allowed them to make hundreds of billions of dollars a year in trade, yet they do NOTHING for us with North Korea, just talk. We will no longer allow this to continue. China could easily solve this problem!"

This tweet shows Trump's mood. It is believed that North Korea launched an intercontinental ballistic missile that could reach US soil. This has embarrassed Trump, who places resisting North Korea's nuclear and missile capabilities his highest diplomatic priority.

But it is unreasonable for Trump to turn his temper into criticism against China. He probably knows that he was uttering angry words which cannot become US policy towards China.

China has exerted enormous pressure on Pyongyang's nuclear and missile activities. Beijing strictly implements UN Security Council resolutions against North Korea and unprecedented restrictions on coal exports to China have been imposed on North Korea. China's sanctions have already chilled bilateral ties. China has paid the most diplomatic cost in dealing with its neighbor's nuclear issue.

Trump claims that "China could easily solve this problem." But such a statement could only be made by a green-horn US president who knows little about the North Korean nuclear issue. Pyongyang is determined to develop its nuclear and missile program and does not care about military threats from the US and South Korea. How could Chinese sanctions change the situation? 

As the party that dominates the North Korean nuclear issue, Washington has never turned over the steering wheel to China. Now that the issue is mired in a stalemate, the US is asking China to help out. If Washington is serious about seeking China's help, it needs to respect China's proposal, which is the suspend-for-suspend and dual-track solution. Unfortunately, while China is pushing North Korea, Washington continues to apply heavier military pressure on Pyongyang.

Washington must be realistic in seeking a consensus with Beijing, which is to urge Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear and missile program in a mutually acceptable way, not to pressure China into sacrificing its national interests to secure the US'.

The US hurts China a lot on the Korean Peninsula issue. The THAAD system deployed in South Korea severely jeopardized China's national security, but Washington constantly blames China for not doing enough on the North Korean nuclear issue. Economically, China isn't taking advantage of the US. As the top holder of US treasury bonds, China is actually supporting the dollar. Washington had better not threaten China with trade since China has the tools to safeguard its economic interests.

It's ridiculous for Washington to link the North Korean nuclear issue to Sino-US trade. It is hoped the Trump administration sticks to the principle of mutual respect. China is willing to expand cooperation with the US for their mutual benefit. But it has no obligation to Washington if it is beyond China's capacity.

Posted in: OBSERVER

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