Can war be stopped at China’s door?

By Wang Haiyun Source:Global Times Published: 2016-2-18 19:28:01

Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

The situation has dramatically been deteriorating across the Korean Peninsula. Regardless of the vehement objection from the international community and the resolutions of the UN Security Council, Pyongyang launched the Kwangmyongsong-4 satellite with its long-range missile system on February 7, not long after its assertion of a hydrogen bomb test in early January.

The US and its two Asian allies are reinforcing their military deployment in Northeast Asia under the excuse of coping with the threat from North Korea.

Washington has deployed an aircraft carrier, a B-52 bomber, a nuclear-powered submarine and special forces in its military bases in Japan and South Korea.

In addition, it has made substantial progress in negotiation with Seoul on deploying the THAAD missile defense system on the peninsula.

Given the escalated tensions on the peninsula, it seems that a war is on the verge of breaking out at any moment.

The Chinese government's position for a nuclear-free, stable and peaceful Korean Peninsula is consistent and clear-cut.

It is not China that leads to the regional tensions, which actually result from the rejection of Washington, Seoul and Pyongyang to return to the Six-Party Talks and their unwise provocations toward each other. Therefore, Beijing must adopt forceful countermeasures.

In the first place, China needs to mobilize the international community to persuade all concerned parties with well-founded reasons to prompt a resumption of the Six-Party Talks.

We should make Pyongyang understand that it must completely cease nuclear tests and missile launches and accept international supervision so as to return to the Six-Party Talks in an active posture.

For medium- and small-sized countries, any attempt to develop nuclear weapons and strategic bombs to safeguard national security will bring nothing but calamity.

Once a war is waged, China will no longer get to rescue an unadvisable regime at the expense of its own national interests.

We also need to get it across to Seoul that introducing external forces to ratchet up regional tensions will be destructive. Military deterrence against Pyongyang in coalition with external forces will definitely fail to achieve the reunification of the Korean Peninsula.

It is difficult to persuade the US and Japan to give up military interference in the region, so we need to urge their decision-makers to realize that the only proper resolution to the North Korean nuclear issue lies in dialogues that facilitate the ratification of a peace treaty.

Moreover, China should make concerted efforts with Russia and other forces that object to creating tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

Under no circumstances should the UN empower any country to start a war on the peninsula. A war waged on any grounds constitutes a grave challenge to world peace and runs counter to the historical trend.

South Koreans must keep in mind that their country will bear the full brunt of chaos on the Korean Peninsula if a war breaks out.

Washington's intention to contain Beijing by beefing up military deployment and making trouble on the peninsula will only cripple its own military power that has gradually become feeble. Japan's right-wing government craves the exacerbation of tensions on the Korean Peninsula, in the excuse of which they can expand their military build-up and consequently accelerate in rebuilding an empire.

Therefore, it is no more than wishful thinking to say we can talk it out of stirring up trouble in Northeast Asia.

Beijing needs to make full military and diplomatic preparations for war on the Korean Peninsula. We should adjust our military deployment along the northeastern border and maritime security strategies as soon as possible.

To this end, we must promote the capacity of case analysis and prediction, on the basis of which we need to mull proper countermeasures against the US and Japanese fleets surrounding our waters, Washington's deployment of the missile defense system in South Korea, and the possible nuclear pollution caused by military strikes by the US, Japan and South Korea, as well as fully consider how to cope with it if an influx of North Korean refugees and skirmishers flood in.

The author is an expert from the China International Institute for Strategic Society.

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