North Korea Crisis Plays Into China's Hands

Apr 04, 2013, 07:34 ET from World Review

VADUZ, Liechtenstein, April 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- 

As North Korea continues to defy the United Nations by openly threatening South Korea and the United States, China is using the crisis for its own ends, writes World Review author Dr Uwe Nerlich.

"China is following a long-term strategy aimed at neutralising US power and influence in its neighbourhood," he says. "It has also tried to reduce the political impact the new South Korean leadership might have on North Korea with its attempted peace campaign."

China's stand on the North Korea nuclear issue presents it with a dual opportunity - to appear constructive on the United Nations Security Council level, and to challenge the US presence in the region through North Korea - a proxy it can control - if it should get worse.

"China's leadership is avoiding multilateralism which the US would favour," he says. "The US, in turn, has to develop a coherent approach which goes beyond reconfirming itself as a Pacific power."

"At stake will be control of the region, access to oil and gas riches, maritime security in the world's most important sea lanes."

This is a long-term issue and China is pursuing a long-term political strategy. It is supported by a Chinese military build-up.

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About the Author

World Review author and international security advisor Dr Uwe Nerlich is a founding director of the Centre for European Security Strategies (CESS) based in Munich, Germany.

The centre provides an international network for research and consultancy supporting governments, international organisations, industry and the media to understand and meet strategic threats.


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