China has gone around Asia, particularly, Southeast Asia telling countries to behave because they are smaller than China. Beijing however, is strangely more diffident when it comes to Pyongyang’s consistently cocking a snook at it and also complicating China’s regional security environment at the same time. As opposed as they are to the DPRK’s nuclear status, the Chinese also do not seek a US-led regime change through military meansand to see either North Korean refugees or American troops on its borders.
Chinese Views on North Korea’s Nuclear Programme
Chinese scholars also view the DPRK as feeling genuinely threatened by the US and that its development of nuclear weapons is for regime survival. The huge US-ROK joint military exercises in March-April 2016 according to the Chinese caused major worry in Pyongyang, which sees such exercises as disguising potential military invasion. Continue reading China and North Korea: A Convenient Arrangement
A shorter version of this piece was published as Jabin T. Jacob, ‘North Korea hasn’t gone rogue. Nukes are its geo-political trump card’, Catch News, 16 January 2016.
Following North Korea’s fourth nuclear test since 2006, the world led by the UN Security Council has condemned Pyongyang’s action. The DPRK for its part blamed South Korea’s propaganda broadcasts in the Demilitarised Zone – which includes K-pop songs, by the way – and deployment of military assets, saying these were pushing the two countries to the ‘brink of war’.
The UNSC’s resolutions since 2006 imposing and strengthening sanctions on North Korea for continuing to develop its nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles have however not been very effective, even if they have slowed down the pace of development of these programmes. This is because Pyongyang views nuclear weapons as a guarnator of its regime security. Given American efforts at regime change in West Asia, Pyongyang clearly sees nuclear weapons as the ace in its pack. The Americans reminded Kim Jong-un’s regime of that threat by flying a B-52 over South Korea in a joint response to the North Korean test. The bomber that took off from far-away Guam, can carry precision guided conventional ordnance as well as nuclear weapons. Continue reading North Korea’s Nuclear Test: Regional Reactions and the Chinese Responsibility
Abstract: The China-Pakistan relationship has seen several ups and downs in the last decade and especially since 9/11. While Sino-Pakistani ties remain strong, there has been a visible drawdown in Chinese political commitment to Pakistan. Partly, this has been because of Beijing’s concerns about political instability, including terrorism, in Pakistan, and the spread of Islamic radicalism from that country into China. In part, this has also been because China’s global political rise has meant that it is more conscious of its need to adhere to international norms, which includes refraining from nuclear proliferation to Pakistan. In this context, two arguments are made – one, that India is no longer the central concern in the Sino-Pakistani relationship and two, that New Delhi consequently has increased ability to play the game-changer in the ‘all-weather’ friendship between its neighbours.
“The Afghans they hate us,
The Indians wanna bring us to our knees
How long will it be Lord, till we piss off the Chinese
I got the blues”
Saad Haroon (AlJazeera 2010) Continue reading China-Pakistan Relations: Reinterpreting the Nexus