China cannot do what the U.S., Korea and Japan should be doing. The U.S. and North Korea have always been hostile toward one another, and this has resulted in the current nuclear problem. China cannot, and should not, turn its own relationship with North Korea into a hostile relationship. Wen Zhong's thoughts on this issue deserve our consideration.
The U.S. has criticized China's failed policy toward North Korea, and China rebuked this on Friday by stating that the U.S., not China, was to blame for North Korea’s possession of nuclear weapons.
North Korea announced its nuclear H-bomb test a few days ago. A Chinese official has stated that persuading the North Korean government to abandon its nuclear program is the responsibility of all countries, not just China's. This strong denouncement has further strained the tense relationship between the two countries.
The main problem with the North Korean nuclear issue is not China. China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Hua Chunying stated at a routine news conference in Beijing that "China is not the key to solving the nuclear problem.” Hua Chunying did not mention the U.S., but her speech clearly indicated that China believes that U.S. decisions to economically and politically isolate North Korea over the past 10 years are what has caused this situation to worsen.
U.S. officials have already indicated that China possesses the unique advantage of being able to cut off North Korea's oil supply, or to break off financial or business ties to halt North Korea's nuclear ambitions. China is North Korea's biggest trading partner — the two countries have enjoyed good relations for over 60 years. Last Thursday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry put further pressure on Chinese officials by saying that Chinese attempts to contain North Korea have already failed. At a Washington press conference, he said, "We cannot go down that road again.”
“China had a particular approach that it wanted to make, that we agreed and respected to give them space to implement that. That [approach] has not worked.” U.S. officials have indicated that they are already drawing up plans with the United Nations Security Council to find a resolution to further obstruct trade with North Korea, such as prohibiting North Korean ships from ports all around the world. Since North Korea declared it had tested its nuclear weapons last Wednesday, experts have been uncertain that it was a test of an H-bomb: The detonation of this weapon was smaller than Pyongyang's previous atomic systems, but the nervous situation has still intensified.
On Thursday, the People's Daily newspaper published a comment that "the U.S. is responsible for the current nervous situation on the [Korean] peninsula, and it cannot shift the blame for that." Last Friday, Huanqiu News intensely refuted Donald Trump's claims that China should take the lead in preventing North Korea's nuclear program or risk facing trade sanctions. "China cannot do what the U.S., Korea and Japan should be doing. It is they who have been hostile to North Korea and have caused the current issue. China cannot, and should not, turn its own relationship with North Korea into a hostile relationship.”