Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

China dole

Posted by Charles II on February 20, 2010

A classic Chinese political gambit may be developing. Donald Kirk, Asia Times:

North Korea seems to be playing the China card for all it’s worth – in multi-billions in aid and investment – to overcome United Nations sanctions and pressure for Pyongyang to get rid of its nuclear program.

A report in South Korea about China investing US$10 billion in North Korea’s dilapidated economy has analysts worrying that such a deal could negate the impact of promises of that much money in energy aid as a reward for North Korea giving up its nukes.

American corporate lawyer Tom Pinansky, at a luncheon of the American Chamber of Commerce in Seoul, raised the issue in a barbed question to South Korea’s ambassador to the US Han Duk-soo. What would happen to six-party talks in which the lure of massive aid is the bargaining tool, if China is going to give the North all the aid it wants anyway?

Han, a former prime minister with a long background in economic and foreign affairs, more or less equivocated. There was nothing to substantiate the report, he said, indicating that China, as host of the six-party talks on North Korea’s, was cooperating on sanctions.

I’ve never understood why American diplomacy seems to be incapable of doing similar things. That is, not threatening other countries, or even confronting them directly, but simply acting in ways that undermine their vital interests and strengthen ours. Granted, this one will cost China some serious money, but doubtless they will ration it out at the minimum rate required to keep North Korea in existence. In the meantime, they cause the United States incredible headaches, because North Korea is at the borders of two US more-or-less vital interests (Japan and South Korea), and just crazy enough to, say, fly a missile over Japan.

3 Responses to “China dole”

  1. jo6pac said

    Thanks for this info, China beating the US to death at every turn.

  2. Stormcrow said

    I’ve never understood why American diplomacy seems to be incapable of doing similar things. That is, not threatening other countries, or even confronting them directly, but simply acting in ways that undermine their vital interests and strengthen ours.

    That’s easy. We’ve never been forced to do so.

    Absent the force of circumstances, no ruling elite (or anybody else, for that matter) likes to change a system that appears to work well enough.

    Here is a fairly well-known student of the political art, on this very topic. Three guesses who, but I’ll bet you only need one. :)

    And it ought to be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things, because the innovator has for enemies all those who have done well under the old conditions, and lukewarm defenders in those who may do well under the new. This coolness arises partly from fear of the opponents, who have the laws on their side, and partly from the incredulity of men, who do not readily believe in new things until they have had a long experience of them.

    • Charles II said

      You’re right. I only needed one. Something about that man’s writing, its carefully measured, morally agnostic tone, that is unique to the author.

      Although I suppose that it could be Dr. Strangelove, without the cackle.

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