Washington has been leaning on Beijing to take a larger role in reining in the reclusive regime of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un.
Beijing’s ambassador Cui Tiankai said the United States is giving China a ”mission impossible” by insisting it exert pressure on neighboring North Korea to halt its nuclear program or face US consequences.
“There is one thing that worries me a little bit, and even more than a little bit, is that we’re very often told that China has such an influence over DPRK and we should force the DPRK to do this or that,” Cui Tiankai told a Washington think-tank. “Otherwise the United States would have to do something that would hurt China’s security interests. You see you are giving us a mission impossible.”
Tiankai, who has been China’s envoy to Washington since April 2013, said he did not “think this was very fair, I don’t think this is a constructive way of working with each other.”
Cui told an audience at the United States Institute of Peace that Beijing was very worried by the threat of nuclear arms on the Korean peninsula and the risk of another war, armed conflict or chaos. Tensions have been rising on the peninsula following a series of threats by Pyongyang in protest at ongoing Seoul-Washington military drills. North Korea has staged a series of rocket and short-range missile tests since last month, as well as its first mid-range missile launch since 2009. The two Koreas traded fire across their tense Yellow Sea border last week, with the shells landing in the sea.
“The peninsula is just at our doorstep, any chaos, any armed conflict there will certainly have cross-border effects on China,” Cui said. “But this problem cannot be solved by China alone. We need cooperation among the relevant parties.”
[South China Morning Post]