The People’s Republic of China said Saturday that it opposes unilateral sanctions against northern Korea over the latter’s nuclear weapons program. Such things must have the auspices of the UN. The PRC also said it opposes the Republic of Korea having the ability to defend itself against northern Korea’s nuclear weapons, insisting that the deployment of a missile defense system would be a threat to the PRC’s security.
This is risible. The PRC wants sanctions to go through the UN where, via its Security Council veto power, the PRC can water down joint sanctions to the point of uselessness. The PRC doesn’t want sanctions and it doesn’t want the RoK to be able to defend itself against nuclear attack because the PRC wants to damage the RoK as a means of damaging further a timid US.
Of course, we need to make the deployment—and to press upon the (likely) new RoK government the importance of missile defense—and we need to impose such unilateral sanctions as we can on northern Korea and to make them as broad as we can.
We need to do this for a couple of reasons. One is to demonstrate to the PRC that they don’t get to dictate our foreign policy. Another is to demonstrate to the RoK, to Japan, to the nations rimming the South China Sea, and to ourselves that we’re done being timid in the Pacific.