The secretariat of North Korea's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea claimed Thursday that "just pressing the button will be enough to turn the strongholds of the enemies into the sea of fire." Pyongyang is continuing to push strategic tension on the Korean Peninsula to extremes.
The North has annoyed most Chinese. Voices pushing to "abandon North Korea" can be heard. They have even become formal suggestions by some strategists. We believe China's policymakers will not follow them.
The complex situation in Northeast Asia is among the most prominent geopolitical issues in the world. Countries in the region all have their respective interests. The changing global geopolitics can also be felt here.
The Sino-North Korean relationship cannot only give consideration to just the interests of some, but it must take the overall situation into account.
North Korea is not a pawn of China's diplomacy. After the Korean War, China lacked a solid strategy toward North Korea. It cannot handle the North using the approaches of the US toward Japan and South Korea. The interests of the North and China have never coincided.
But the North remains at the forefront of China's geopolitics. Japan and South Korea provide strategic support for the US' pivot to the Asia Pacific, and North Korea is their shield. The North's stance toward China, whether it's friendly or not, will influence the strategic posture of Northeast Asia.
Abandoning North Korea is unlikely to become China's diplomatic choice. But there's no need to hide Chinese society's dissatisfaction with it.
China has already proved to Pyongyang that it not only maintains its own national security, but also helps maintain the North's regime. China provides the most solid strategic support for the North's political stability.
China has always shown respect toward Pyongyang. China should correct the North's attitude toward it. When Pyongyang's acts seriously violate China's interests, we will by no means indulge it. This would not be Beijing showing hostility toward Pyongyang, but would just be reasonable acts to safeguard its own strategic interests. Pyongyang can see how different these reactions are from those of the US, Japan and South Korea.
China should not be overly worried about frictions with North Korea. The Sino-North Korean relationship won't follow the same trajectory of that of the Soviet Union and China. China has no intention of controlling North Korea and its friendship toward the North is the most stable among all countries.
China is bound to adjust its North Korean policies, but it doesn't mean it will side with the US, Japan and South Korea. Rather, it will respond to the North's extreme moves which offend China's interests and will make the North correct its moves. The North's political system means that it has no other geopolitical choices than friendliness with China.