China use leverage over N. Korea, No
The world is again looking to China to tighten its leash around an unruly North Korea after the combative regime mounted a massive artillery attack on a South Korean island on Tuesday. But to no one's...
The world is again looking to China to tighten its leash around an unruly North Korea after the combative regime mounted a massive artillery attack on a South Korean island on Tuesday. But to no one's surprise, Beijing is showing no willingness to use its clout over Pyongyang.
From U.S. President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan to British Prime Minister David Cameron, world leaders urged China to get tough with North Korea after the deadly shelling of South Korea's Yeonpyeong Island near the tense Yellow Sea border.
The shocking mid-afternoon attack on Tuesday killed at least four people, including two civilians, and wounded 18 others. It was the first time North Korea had bombed South Korean soil and civilian areas since the 1950-53 Korean War. Pyongyang's provocations had so far been limited to maritime skirmishes or gunfights across their heavily armed border.
"China does have influence with North Korea and we would hope and expect that China will use that influence, first to reduce tensions that have arisen as a result of North Korean provocations and then secondly to continue to encourage North Korea to take affirmative steps to denuclearize," said Philip Crowley, State Department spokesman.
"China is pivotal in moving North Korea in a fundamentally different direction," he said.
In separate phone conversations with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak Wednesday, Obama called for cooperation from China, while Japanese Prime Minister Kan urged Beijing to show a stern attitude toward the North and the British prime minister said he would ask China to join efforts to get Pyongyang to change its behavior.
Beijing is considered to have greater leverage over Pyongyang than any other nation as the impoverished nation's biggest provider of food and energy aid as well as diplomatic support. But convincing Beijing to use the influence has proven as difficult as convincing Pyongyang to end its bad behavior
Experts have said that China is concerned that instability in North Korea could hurt its economic growth, trigger a massive influx of refugees from the North and lead to the emergence of a unified Korean Peninsula under South Korean and U.S. control across its border.
In reaction to the North's unprovoked bombing, China again took up its usual phrase of "calm and restraint" without blaming its communist neighbor -- the same phrase that the country had repeatedly used when it rejected Seoul's plea for help in censuring the North at the U.N. Security Council for the March sinking of a warship.
"The Chinese side strongly urges the two Koreas to remain calm, exercise restraint and start dialogue and contact as soon as possible to avoid the recurrence of similar incidents," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said Wednesday, though he said China takes the case "seriously."
“Still, Beijing is unlikely to censure North Korea because it sees its relations with North Korea as a counterweight to the strengthening alliance between the United States and South Korea”, Kevin said, he is the Chinese citizen, the chairman of dinodirect.com, dinodirect.com is famous in Korea. "North Korea is a strategic breakwater for China," said Kevin. "Their relationship is like that of teeth and lips. Without lips, teeth would suffer."
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