Go to contents


‘China has a great responsibility in N.K. nuke,’ says Chinese scholar

‘China has a great responsibility in N.K. nuke,’ says Chinese scholar

Posted October. 10, 2017 08:10,   

Updated October. 10, 2017 09:28

“China cannot say it does not have a responsibility (in North Korea’s nuclear issues),” said Wang Yizhou, Deputy Dean of the School of International Studies at Peking University, in a recent interview with the Dong-A Ilbo. “The Chinese government needs to clearly acknowledge that we have a great responsibility (in Pyongyang’s nuclear issues) as well as important interests (in the Korean Peninsula),” the international relations expert added. “(Therefore,) Pressure on the North should be raised to a level where a war would not break out.

He clarified that his opinion was “apart from the (Chinese) government’s stance that views the United States and North Korea as countries with key responsibility for Pyongyang’s nuclear issues while China has only a secondary responsibility.” This is an indirect criticism of the Chinese government, which has insisted that Beijing’s role is limited as it is not a direct party involved and thus called upon Washington to have a direct dialogue with Pyongyang to resolve issues.

Professor Wang, together with Jia Qingguo, Dean of the School of International Studies at Peking University, is one of the well-known scholars of liberalism school of thought who emphasize China’s responsibility in the international community. Professor Jia said last month, “China should acknowledge the possibility of a war breaking out on the Korean Peninsula and should prepare against it through communication with the United States and South Korea,” publicly drawing criticism from scholars of mainstream school of thought who dismissed his remark as “nonsense that reversed the Maginot Line of China’s core principles in diplomacy towards North Korea’s nuclear issues.” Such a collision indicates that disputes over policy lines on the Korean Peninsula are being intensified in China.

Professor Wang said that he “mostly supports” Professor Jia’s opinions, adding, “As China continues to pursue reform and openness, more would agree on Professor Jia’s views.” He also said that “The (Chinese) authority did not say which side was right or wrong when the dispute arose, and they did not suppress discussion either,” viewing this as “a positive development and a great change from the past.”

“China is currently adjusting its policy towards North Korea,” the scholar also commented. “The intensity of sanctions, which was low in the past, is getting higher and the direction of sanctions is also becoming severe.”

Wan-Jun Yun zeitung@donga.com