Experts rebuff Trump talk on China, DPRK

By Zhao Huanxin in Washington and Cui Shoufeng in Beijing | | Updated: 2017-02-24 23:41

US President Donald Trump has overstated China's role in solving what he called "the national security challenge posed by North Korea" when he said Beijing could do it "very easily if they want to", Chinese analysts said on Thursday.

In an interview with Reuters on Thursday, Trump said that "we're very angry" at North Korea's ballistic missile tests, and "We'll see what happens. But it's a very dangerous situation, and China can end it very quickly in my opinion."

"Historically there has never been proved that the nuclear issue of the Korean Peninsula could be solved as long as China wants it," Shi Yinhong, director of the Center of US Studies of Renmin University, said. "The difficulty of resolving the problem is far greater than what Trump said here."

Shi said such rhetoric on the Korean Peninsula issue is nothing new and does not fit in with the new situation on the Korean Peninsula. What the US really intended was nothing but having Beijing cut economic and other ties with Pyongyang thoroughly and perpetually, according to Shi.

But China will never do so; for even if they did, there is no guarantee that the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula would be solved, Shi said.

Over the years China has been striving toward the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. Most recently, it announced it would phase out coal imports from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, according to Shi.

"It is unrealistic to demand China to sever economic and other ties with the DPRK," Shi said.

Wang Junsheng, a researcher of Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said Trump's latest comment was a replay and an extension of his previous accusation that China has "total control" over the DPRK and is responsible for the volatile situation on the Korean Peninsula. Wang noted that this time the US president used "tremendous" instead of "total".

"It is manifest in the past few Korean nuclear crises that only Washington, not Beijing, can give Pyongyang the security guarantee it wants," Wang said.

Making China the scapegoat is not just unfair but also untrue, he said. "China is a victim of the DPRK nuclear issue. It has mobilized considerable diplomatic resources to pursue the resumption of the Six-Party Talks and implement its "dual-track" proposal that includes denuclearization and commitment to DPRK's security."

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