North Koreans dance after it was announced that the
country had successfully launched a long-range rocket
carrying a satellite into space.
Launch, China Should Offer Pyongyang 'Sense of Security' (Global Times,
People's Republic of China)
Now that North
Korea has successfully launched a long-range rocket against the wishes of
China, the U.S., Japan, South Korea and most of the world, should Beijing 'fall
in line' with America and its allies in applying sanctions on the North? This
editorial from China's state-run Global
Times advises not, highlighting that such a reform of Beijing's foreign
policy would destabilize the region and undermine China more than any other
nation - including the North.
After announcing it would postpone its Kwangmyongsong-3 satellite launch,
North Korea suddenly carried it out yesterday - atop an Unha-3 rocket. It reportedly "entered orbit as planned"
and the launch has been deemed "perfect" by Western analysts. The
impact of the launch on Northeast Asia will be similar that of North Korea's nuclear
test. It marks a breakthrough for the country in terms of strategic missile
technology, and challenges the overall balance of power in the region,
increasing the likelihood that Japan will abandon its pacific constitution.
The situation highlights the fact that China's capacity to
influence countries in the region is limited. All parties are seeking a secure
status favorable to themselves while squeezing others - which results in strong
reactions. It is a vicious cycle that threatens the security situation across northeast
China would like to be a go-between, but no one [in
Pyongyang] acknowledges it. China now faces the difficult question of whether
to fall in line with the United States, Japan and South Korea by further
condemning North Korea and imposing sanctions. No matter what China does, it cannot
satisfy everyone. The root of the problem is that China's influence is not such
that it can influence the situation in its neighboring country [North Korea].
Strategists in China remain divided about whether Beijing
should adopt a new policy for the Korean Peninsula.
China has a variety of interests in the Peninsula. It must
retain relations with North Korea while preventing its relationship with Japan
and South Korea from deteriorating. China also wants to prevent the situation
on the Peninsula from intensifying, lest economic development in China be
impacted. If all of these interests cannot be secured, China should at least
avoid being the target of escalating tensions on the Peninsula.
Posted by Worldmeets.US
China's strength is the decisive element of its national
security. If it makes a large-scale adjustment of its policy in the region, it
may signal inconsistency and destabilize the entire situation. Under such
circumstances, China would benefit least of all. That is why China must not
take a cooperative stance with the U.S., Japan and South Korea by imposing
sanctions on Pyongyang. China will veto all radical resolutions made by the
three countries. At the same time, North Korea should pay for its actions.
The North Korean launch undoubtedly adds to China's
strategic insecurity, but it would be naive to attribute this to
"failed" diplomacy on the part of Beijing. China should make efforts to
offer the current regime in Pyongyang a sense of security. For example, Beijing
can hold discussions with Pyongyang and other parties on providing North Korea
with facilities to protect it from military attack, which would offer
protection similar to that offered by nuclear arms.
The situation on the Korean Peninsula has discomforted China
and is a regional danger that is bound to make China suffer. Beijing must
fallow a calm approach.