China’s Response to America’s “Locked and Loaded” Warning

While the global media hangs on every utterance from Donald Trump regarding the ongoing war of threats directed at North Korea, very little attention is paid to what China is saying, beyond their agreement to go along with additional sanctions as shown here.

From the Global Times, the English language mouthpiece of the Communist Party of China, we find this op-ed:

The US and North Korea have both ramped up their threatening rhetoric. The Pentagon has prepared plans for B-1B strategic bombers to make preemptive strikes on North Korea’s missile sites. US Secretary of Defense James Mattis issued an ultimatum to North Korea on Wednesday to “cease any consideration of actions that would lead to the end of its regime and destruction of its people…

Many people believe the possibility of war is very low. If war really breaks out, the US can hardly reap any strategic harvest and North Korea will face unprecedented risks. North Korea aims to propel the US to negotiate with it, while the US wants to put North Korea in check. Neither can achieve its goal, so they compete to escalate tensions, but neither wants to take the initiative to launch a war…The uncertainty in the Korean Peninsula is growing.

Beijing is not able to persuade Washington or Pyongyang to back down at this time. It needs to make clear its stance to all sides and make them understand that when their actions jeopardize China’s interests, China will respond with a firm hand.

China should also make clear that if North Korea launches missiles that threaten US soil first and the US retaliates, China will stay neutral. If the US and South Korea carry out strikes and try to overthrow the North Korean regime and change the political pattern of the Korean Peninsula, China will prevent them from doing so.

China opposes both nuclear proliferation and war in the Korean Peninsula. It will not encourage any side to stir up military conflict, and will firmly resist any side which wants to change the status quo of the areas where China’s interests are concerned. It is hoped that both Washington and Pyongyang can exercise restraint. The Korean Peninsula is where the strategic interests of all sides converge, and no side should try to be the absolute dominator of the region.” (my bold)

Let’s repeat the key sentence.  If the US and South Korea carry out strikes and try to overthrow the North Korean regime and change the political pattern of the Korean Peninsula, China will prevent them from doing so.  Basically, in the eyes of China, the Kim family dynasty, which has been in place since 1948, is to remain in place no matter how the United States and South Korea feels about his authority to rule the North Korean people.

Keeping in mind that China sent 2.97 million soldiers into the War to Resist U.S. Aggression and Aid Korea (the official name of the Korean War in China) between October 1950 and July 1954 and that it sacrificed 183,108 of the Chinese People’s Volunteer Army to push the American forces to the south of the Korea, one should take any commentary from China on the current situation very seriously.  After all, it was the military backing of China that allowed North Korea to end the war which it very nearly lost with an armistice agreement that has been in place since July 27, 1953.  In any case, it certainly appears that the United States won’t be ridding the world of Kim Jong-un as easily as they got rid of Muammar Qaddafi and Saddam Hussein.

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