Thu, Apr 20, 2017 - Page 8 News List

China can tolerate the US on NK

By Albert Shihyi Chiu 邱師儀

The key question is: What good it would do the US for Trump to intervene in North Korea?

US policy toward North Korea has passed through many stages since then-US president George H.W. Bush’s appeasement of the country in 1992.

We have seen Clinton’s food aid and George W. Bush’s inclusion of North Korea in his “axis of evil,” followed by a show of goodwill before leaving office.

Obama avoided provoking Kim after the death of his father in 2011.

Throughout this time the US has time and again put up with North Korea’s provocative behavior, including nuclear tests, long-range missile launches and mass counterfeiting of US dollars. Now that Trump is following a path of “America first” and unilateral action, it is hard to see what value North Korea has for him.

If it does have any value, it would be later on as a card to play in trade negotiations between the US and China.

For China, the issue of Taiwan is more important than that of North Korea, so for the time being it can only cooperate with Trump on the North Korean issue, thereby putting off any opportunity for Trump to cross China’s red line by playing the Taiwan card.

Albert Shihyi Chiu is an associate professor of political science at Tunghai University.

Translated by Julian Clegg

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