Yesterday, in an important news analysis, The New York Times reported the possible Chinese shift on Korea, quoting a top Chinese Communist Party official about the new policy of the Xi administration:
“The former administration always put ensuring the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula in first place, while the current administration sets the denuclearization of the peninsula first,” the paper quoted Zhang Liangui, of the Communist Party School of the Central Committee, as saying.
China will no longer “indulge” North Korea’s weapons program at the cost of instability in North Asia, Mr. Zhang said. This brought China and the United States closer together, Mr. Zhang said.
Shi Yinhong, a “professor of international relations at Renmin University and an occasional adviser to the Chinese government,” called the new policy a “big gift” to Obama, confirming earlier speculation that China had read North Korea the riot act over its provocative nuclear saber-rattling:
Mr. Xi has offered a “big gift” to the United States, Mr. Shi said, by pressuring the new leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un, to resume talks over his country’s growing nuclear weapons program.
A few days ago, the Times reported that China had “bluntly” told North Korea to behave itself:
In telling the North that it should return to negotiations with the United States and others, Mr. Xi struck a stern tone, saying, “The Chinese position is very clear: no matter how the situation changes, relevant parties should all adhere to the goal of denuclearization of the peninsula, persist in safeguarding its peace and stability, and stick to solving problems through dialogue and consultation.”