An editorial over the weekend in Chinese media recommends that Beijing begin “preparing for war” because eventually there will be war in “ticking time bomb” North Korea.
The risk of war on the peninsula is higher now than it has been in decades, so China must begin to marshal resources and prepare for the fallout, according to government officials and a retired Chinese military officer.
Why? Because Beijing, as the North’s sole major ally, has lost its sway with Pyongyang.
“Conditions on the peninsula now make for the biggest risk of a war in decades,” said Renmin University international relations professor Shi Yinhong, who also advises the State Council, China’s cabinet.
Shi said that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and President Donald Trump were locked in a war of words and threats, and it was already too late for China to avert conflict there. At best, Beijing could delay it.
“North Korea is a time bomb. We can only delay the explosion, hoping that by delaying it, a time will come to remove the detonator,” Shi said on the sidelines of a Beijing conference on the crisis.
Yang Xiyu, a senior fellow at the China Institute of International Studies affiliated with China’s foreign ministry, noted that conditions on the peninsula were are their worst since the first Korean War in the 1950s.
“No matter whether there is war or peace, regretfully, China has no control, dominance or even a voice on the issue,” he said.
“It is a highly dangerous period,” added Wang Hongguang, former deputy commander of the Nanjing Military Region. “Northeast China should mobilise defences for war.” [source]
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