Why Trump’s plan to use China against North Korea is probably doomed


China ultimately sees North Korea as an asset.

President Trump believes the road to disarming North Korea runs through China, its biggest and most powerful ally. The problem is that Beijing doesn’t seem willing to do much of anything to rein Pyongyang in.

Trump is right that China is indispensable to North Korea’s economy and serves as its biggest shield against international efforts to end its nuclear program. Unless Trump wants to pursue a potentially catastrophic military strike on North Korea, Beijing features front and center in any political answer to what is rapidly emerging as the most dangerous foreign policy challenge of Trump’s young presidency.

Tensions have been rising between the US and North Korea at an astonishing clip. In the past week, North Korea has held a massive military parade, attempted (unsuccessfully) to fire off yet another ballistic missile, and threatened nuclear war with the US. And it seems prepared to take an even more provocative step: US officials believe Pyongyang is preparing to carry out a nuclear test, something Beijing has repeatedly urged it not do.

Trump has been a bit vague on exactly what he wants China to do, but we have a sense of the broad ideas. He wants it to take the gloves off and move beyond the relatively modest pressure tactics it’s applied so far to the dictatorship, many of which have focused on causing discomfort to elites, such as banning the flow of luxury goods into the country. That would mean dramatically increasing pressure on the nation’s economy as a whole through measures like shrinking trade or cutting off oil shipments.

Analysts say the world has not hit North Korea with the kinds of harsh sanctions that had been slapped on Iran in the past because of its own nuclear program. …read more

Source:: Vox – All

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