On August 11, a Chinese state-run newspaper stated that if N. Korea attacks the U.S. then China will remain neutral, but if the U.S. attacks first attempting to overthrow N. Korea’s government, China will stop them.
On August 10, Donald Trump warned Pyongyang against attacking Guam or United States allies after announcing its plans to fire missiles near the U.S. Pacific territory.
North Korea’s most important ally and trading partner, China, has made numerous calls for calm regarding the current crisis. China has expressed concerns regarding Pyongyang’s repeated nuclear and missile tests.
The Global Times wrote in an editorial that Beijing is unable to convince Washington or Pyongyang to back down.
The paper, which does not represent government policy stated: “It needs to make clear its stance to all sides and make them understand that when their actions jeopardize China’s interests, China will respond with a firm hand.”
“China should also make clear that if North Korea launches missiles that threaten U.S. soil first and the U.S. retaliates, China will stay neutral,” it added.
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“If the U.S. and South Korea carry out strikes and try to overthrow the North Korean regime and change the political pattern of the Korean Peninsula, China will prevent them from doing so.”
China has long worried that any conflict on the Korean peninsula, or a repeat of the 1950-53 Korean war, could unleash a wave of destabilizing refugees into its northeast, and could end up with a reunified county allied with the United States.
According to the Global Times, China will “firmly resist any side which wants to change the status quo of the areas where China’s interests are concerned”.
“The Korean Peninsula is where the strategic interests of all sides converge, and no side should try to be the absolute dominator of the region.”