On the day before the PRC’s President, Xi Jinping, is to meet with President Donald Trump, northern Korea fired another ballistic missile (this one apparently another test of its solid-fueled model). Of course, the careful timing of Baby Kim’s missile launch has been denied by the PRC’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying. There is no “direct relation” between the missile launch and the Trump-Xi meeting, she insisted.
The more telling description of events and event relations, though, was provided by Shi Yinhong, Director of the Center on American Studies at Renmin University in Beijing:
China has nearly exhausted its leverage with North Korea.
Whether that’s true or the PRC is simply continuing to wash its hands of its responsibility for its client state, Shi’s remark makes one thing increasingly clear: we must take more direct action vis-à-vis northern Korea, and that action must come without PRC involvement; they’ll just be left behind.