Wednesday, April 12, 2017
The new middleman
While Trump is sailing his big boats toward North Korea which is doing lord knows what as they approach, China has taken the time to have a few words with both meatheads in charge.
China’s leader, Xi Jinping, and President Trump spoke by phone on Wednesday about the escalating tensions with North Korea as a prominent Chinese state-run newspaper warned the North that it faced a cutoff of vital oil supplies if it dared test a nuclear weapon.Like a mother coming between two squabbling children, China is showing signs of being pissed off. Will they now push for a final ending to all this Korean bullshit?
The phone call, reported by China’s state broadcaster, CCTV, came hours after Mr. Trump cautioned Beijing in a Twitter message and a television interview that it needed to help Washington rein in North Korea, a Chinese ally. During the call, which was initiated by Mr. Trump, Mr. Xi said that the matter should be solved through peaceful means, the state news agency Xinhua reported.
Tensions escalated further on Wednesday as reports said the Japanese Navy would join the United States Navy strike group led by the aircraft carrier Carl Vinson in its mission off the Korean coast. Those joint exercises would take place as the American armada passed through waters close to Japan, Reuters said.
The Carl Vinson and several other warships are heading toward the Korean Peninsula in a show of force intended to deter the North from testing a sixth nuclear weapon or launching missiles.
North Korea on Saturday is celebrating the 105th anniversary of the birth of Kim Il-sung, the founder of the nation. Its current leader, Kim Jong-un, his grandson, is expected to use the occasion to either stage a nuclear weapons test or conduct a missile test, in direct defiance of the United States and its main patron, China.
American television networks and some newspapers have been invited to report on a military show in the capital, Pyongyang, this weekend.
In an unusually strong editorial, Global Times, a newspaper that sometimes reflects the thinking of China’s leadership, said Beijing would support stiffer United Nations sanctions, including “strictly limiting” oil exports to North Korea should it conduct a nuclear test.
The editorial, indicating nervousness about what the North might do on Saturday, said that the peninsula was the closest to “military clashes” since 2006.
“China, too, can no longer stand the continuous escalation of the North Korean nuclear issue at its doorstep,” the editorial said. “Instead of accepting a situation that continues to worsen, putting an end to this is more in line with the wish of the Chinese public.”
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