- Chinese state media wrote a snappy editorial telling the US to back off from insisting Beijing cut off North Korea.
- The editorial called out the US for “escalating hostility” in Asia and bringing the world closer to nuclear war.
- The piece ended by implying China would use military force to resolve the conflict if necessary.
Chinese state media published a blunt editorial blaming the US and North Korea for rising hostilities in Asia after the rogue nuclear nation tested its most powerful ever ballistic missile on Tuesday.
“China has tried its best,” the editorial in the Global Times, a state-run media outlet, read.
The Global Times, while not run by Chinese Communist Party officials, is heavily censored and its editorials typically represent the country’s official position with little deviation.
“China has done what it can for the US,” read the editorial, which blamed the nuclear crisis on “escalating hostility between Pyongyang and Washington.”
The US maintains that its military presence in South Korea and Japan is at the request of the host nations and a totally legal response to North Korea’s illegal nuclear and missile testing. North Korea and now China have both accused the US of escalating tensions with its military presence.
President Donald Trump frequently mentions China when talking about handling the North Korean crisis, and the editorial seemed to take issue with that.
“The theory that China should be held responsible is wrong in logic,” read the editorial. US experts maintain that China could collapse North Korea’s regime in a heartbeat, but it refuses to do so because it would counter Beijing’s national interests.
The editorial also took seriously China’s national security, which it considers endangered by a nuclear North Korea on its border and the US’s deployment of missile defenses in the region.
About 90% of North Korea’s external trade goes through China, and US pundits have long called for Beijing to cut off Pyongyang in light of its illegal nuclear ambitions, but the editorial staked out a very firm stance in refuting the US.
“China has no obligation to cooperate with the US” on imposing a full trade embargo on North Korea, which it described as an “impractical idea.”
“The US has no right to direct China or the UN Security Council,” the editorial said.
Instead of “pinning hopes” on China, according to the editorial, the US should “fulfill their obligations in alleviating tensions and pushing for talks.”
The editorial seems to echo Trump by waving a military option and putting Beijing’s national interests first.
“Beijing is fully prepared to use its prowess to defend its national interest. China owes no one anything, and other countries must know this,” the editorial concludes.