Catfish and Cod
Tuesday, September 02, 2003
(Link path: The Grey Lady [free and pointless registration required])
Here we go again. The Chinese say we're the problem in the North Korean peace talks.
"Wang Yi, a vice foreign minister who was China's chief delegate at the negotiations, replied, 'America's policy toward the D.P.R.K. â€” that is the main problem we are facing.'"
In other words, North Korea's policy towards the United States is not the main problem. Now, I agree with Willis that the Administration could be a little less belligerent. I want North Korea gone, but I'm not willing to trade a million American and South Korean lives (in a nuking of. say, Honolulu, plus the shelling of Seoul) for several million North Korean lives. There is a better way, and it requires Chinese cooperation. And with this statement, the Chinese are saying that it's not their problem.
Now, don't get me wrong. The days when China would set up a Somebody Else's Problem field around North Korea and pretend their nuclear program didn't exist are gone forever. But China would still rather not have to pay the piper for the destruction of their client state. They'd far rather have their long-term rival (in their eyes), the U. S., pay the price for them. So they try this crud again, once again shifting the blame onto us, and with it the assumption that we have to fix the problem -- by giving concessions on how to implement the nonaggression pact.
It won't work. For one thing, the Administration is still pursuing Den Beste's strategy of "engaged apathy". For another, we now have the economic front with which to lean on China. We're having to lean on them anyway -- China's currency policy is contributing to our job-loss economy -- so we might as well lean harder, the better to influence peace negotiations.
China desires, long-term, to regain its ancient status as the Great Power of East Asia. But, "with great power comes great responsibility". China must take responsibility for its client state, North Korea, and reign in its nuclear program, for the good of not only the United States, but the entire East Asian region.