China along with the US is firm on preventing North Korea from carrying out new nuclear tests by imposing sanctions.

The state-run Global Times said Beijing was clear that whenever the North conducts a larger-scale nuclear test, northeastern China will be exposed to more risks.

“Therefore, China is firm in preventing North Korea from carrying out new nuclear tests through sanctions,” the daily said in an editorial.

“As nuclear weapons and missiles will combine, opposing North Korea’s nuclear and missile advancement becomes a common concern of Beijing and Washington,” it added.

At the same time, many Chinese people worry that Washington was turning the issue “into a trap and they keep a higher alert on Washington’s tricks than on Pyongyang”, the editorial said.

It explained why China was opposed to North Korean nuclear tests despite being an ally of Pyongyang.

“It is possible the US has ulterior motives in solving the nuclear issue. But … the danger of potential nuclear contamination of China’s northeast is more urgent.

“No matter how many divergences China and the US have, their cooperation around preventing new nuclear and missile activities by North Korea is of vital importance.”

The North Korean nuclear issue “tests China’s wisdom and resolve to manage the situation”, said the daily, which is known to reflect the thinking in the Communist Party leadership.

Meanwhile, a senior Chinese diplomat has predicted three possible endings of the nuclear issue and suggested the resumption of talks as the way out.

Fu Ying, chairperson of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National People’s Congress, made the prediction in a paper published on Brookings Institution’s website, the Global Times said.

The first possibility was a vicious cycle of US and UN sanctions followed by nuclear and missile tests of the North until it reaches a tipping point.

The second possibility was a collapse of the North Korean regime, Fu said, quickly adding that this may not be realistic.

The third possibility was the restart of talks and serious negotiations, Fu said, adding the scenario was getting harder.

First Published | 3 May 2017 9:28 PM
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