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An exclusivist Sino-American diplomacy track? August 12, 2006

Posted by tkcollier in Geopolitics, News, Politics.
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An exclusivist Sino-American diplomacy track? :
With the war between Israel and Hezbollah overlapping with planning for a “post-Castro Cuba,” it seems that America has temporarily turned its interest away from North Korea. However, the international political situation on the Korean peninsula now stands at the crossroads. Changes in Chinese policy towards the North – a policy once perceived only in between the lines of diplomacy – have grown more pronounced this summer.

Having cast its vote in favor of the U.N. Security Council resolution on North Korea and thus receiving the gratitude of America for its newfound cooperation, China went on to freeze North Korean accounts at the Macao branch of the Bank of China. Following that, China signed a memorandum of understanding with America in favor of jointly solving such problems as that of North Korea’s currency forgery. China’s cooperation with America on the suspicion that North Korea is forging American Dollars and Chinese Yuan is in itself a signal that China’s strategy for dealing with North Korea has changed.

Furthermore, the Chinese Foreign Ministry appointed an assistant secretarial-level official with expertise on America as the new ambassador to Pyongyang. Despite the delicate situation, they sent an expert on, of all places, America, and in so doing broke the custom of sending veteran officials at the vice-ministerial level. These measures are, in some respects, a warning to North Korea in the wake of its provocative missile launch, but China is not a nation to fly into a rage over a single incident without making further provisions for the future. China’s message is that they will now subordinate relations with North Korea to fit the pace of their relations with America.

As peaceful relations with the U.S. are necessary for their economic development, China must intervene to prevent a North Korea-America military clash, as well as North Korean nuclear development that would spur Japanese nuclear armament, but they also must head off a unilateral attempt by America to topple the Pyongyang regime. North Korea is not like Taiwan, on which China absolutely refuses to cede ground. In this milieu, as hopes dim for a resolution of the conflict between North Korea and the U.S., possibility grows for China’s transferal; from a defensive posture of supporting North Korea from behind, to one of proactive cooperation and compromise with America on the provision that North Korea remains outside the range of U.S. influence.

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