Chinese social media users berated authorities yesterday for their relatively mild response to North Korea’s nuclear test on Tuesday, with one likening Pyongyang to a “crazy dog” that had humiliated Beijing.
The hostility toward China’s defiant neighbor contrasted with the official response from Beijing — expressing “firm opposition,” but reiterating calls for calm and restraint and not mentioning any reprisals or sanctions.
Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Yang Jiechi (楊潔篪) called North Korean Ambassador Ji Jae-ryong in for a dressing-down and demanded his country cease making further threats.
Yang delivered a “stern representation” to Ji on Tuesday and expressed China’s “strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition” to the test, the ministry said in a statement posted on its Web site.
“Yang Jiechi demanded that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea side cease talk that further escalates the situation and swiftly return to the correct channel of dialogue and negotiation,” the statement said.
It did not say if Ji made any response.
“If you pursue an unjust long-term diplomatic policy, then people will dare to explode a stinkbomb at your door while you are on holiday,” said Yu Jianrong (余家榮), a director at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
“You are inviting your own humiliation,” he added on Sina Weibo, China’s popular microblogging service, where he has 1.5 million followers.
Beijing is Pyongyang’s most important backer. China fears instability would bring refugees flooding across the border, or even ultimately a unified Korea with a US military presence on its doorstep.
However, an online commentator using the nickname “Wuyuesanren” slammed some suggestions that North Korea’s nuclear program strengthened China’s security, likening Beijing’s policy to “keeping a crazy dog to guard the house.”
Xie Wen, a former manager at Yahoo China, urged Beijing on his microblog to at least abandon a 1961 treaty of mutual assistance, cancel all aid and military or security cooperation and recall its ambassador.
North Korea “simply doesn’t trust China and is not willing to be inhibited by China,” microblogger “Zhuanshengben” wrote. “For China alone to emphasize China and North Korea’s so-called friendship, this is the ultimate stupidity.”
One microblogger, “Long Can,” supported the use of military force against North Korea, saying that “if America mobilizes troops against North Korea, I will give its government my entire year’s salary.”
Meanwhile on Twitter — which is blocked in China — dissident Hu Jia (胡佳) called China and North Korea “the most despicable big rogue and ruthless little rogue.”
He posted a recording of a telephone call he said he made to the North Korean embassy in Beijing, in which he told them: “I just want to say, I am Chinese citizen Hu Jia and I want to express my opposition to your carrying out a nuclear test.”
“What?” came the response from the embassy. “Are you out of your mind?”
Additional reporting by AP