University of Alberta Political Science Professor Wenran Jiang had a piece in The Globe and Mail claiming that the road to peace on the Korean peninsula lay exclusively through diplomacy. In attempting to downplay the degree of influence the People’s Republic of China has over northern Korea and the boss of its gang, Baby Kim, Professor Jiang made this claim:
Beijing has to walk a fine line between persuading the North not to pursue nuclear weapons and not being seen as colluding with the United States and Japan to undermine its security.
Be seen by whom as colluding? The only ones who both care and are in a position have their concern cared about are the PRC, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Russia, and us. Four of those aren’t going to worry about collusion, nor would we read cooperation as collusion: there are too many points of disagreement between the PRC (one of those four) and the other three to read collusion. Russia has little interest in the matter one way or the other, save whether any disagreement might spill over onto Vladivostok, Nakhodka, and points north in that barren bit of land.
There is, in fact, little reason for the PRC to be as inactive as it has been—for years—from any appearance concerns. There is much reason for the PRC to be as inactive as it has been, though, since that dovetails so nicely with its efforts in the South and East China Seas: to poke sticks in the eye of America, to humiliate us in our impotence in supporting our friends and allies around the Seas, and then to pry those friends and allies away from us while rendering us impotent in fact as well as in reputation.
The time has come to move on without the PRC and by eliminating the northern Korean threat (by diplomacy and/or economic means preferably, including economic steps against the PRC government and businesses doing business in or with northern Korea, by other means if necessary), and thereby take the first step to demonstrating the PRC’s irrelevance.