There are two reasons for China‘s notably harsher stance against North Korea lately.
As soon as China gets what it wants, it’ll go back to its uncooperative ways.
Although Beijing did order all North Korean businesses in its country to shut down last Thursday (Sept. 28), experts say that the Asian nation didn’t do this in an effort to truly curb North Korea’s nuclear ambitions or to help the United States.
Instead, China made these moves for its own near-term benefit. The Red Dragon’s stricter stance, these analysts explain, likely won’t last.
Here are China’s real motives – and when we can expect its cooperation to end…
Reason No. 1: China Wants to Maintain Internal Stability
The Chinese Communist Party will hold its twice-a-decade Congress starting on Oct. 18. This is a major political gathering that decides the country’s future leadership. And the high-profile Congress will assess Beijing’s global sanctions compliance when making its decision.
So Beijing wants stability on the domestic front “in the lead up to and after the Congress,” Chin-Hao Huang, head of studies for global affairs and assistant professor at Singapore’s Yale-NUS College, told CNBC yesterday.
“Any disruption to the Party Congress’ deliberation would be an unwelcome development,” Huang added, “including unilateral provocations by North Korea.”
That’s chiefly because China’s Congress is first and foremost a gathering of diplomats who are each expected to show their loyalty to the Communist regime at the meeting. While North Korea isn’t likely to pose any immediate danger to the Congress, the federal authorities must declare their determination to stamp out risk at the summit. And carrying out Chinese President Xi Jinping’s harsh sanctions on the small peninsula regime is precisely how the Chinese authorities would effectively “show their loyalty.”
But Chinese sanctions against North Korea aren’t likely to stop immediately after the Congress, because U.S. President Donald Trump will be stopping by to say hello…
Reason No. 2: China Wants to Butter Trump Up Ahead of His Asia Trip
“Xi seeks improved relations with the U.S. to such an extent that he’s making a huge concession here to pave way for a successful Trump visit to Asia next month,” Kingston explained.
Indeed, Trump is due to visit Asia from Nov. 3 to Nov. 14. Until Beijing implemented its tough sanctions last week, Washington (and particularly the president) regularly admonished the nation for not pressuring North Korea enough.
And why might China want to butter Trump up in particular?
To solidify its sovereignty claims in the South China Sea.
During Trump’s visit next month, he will attend a summit in the Philippines held by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Many of the nations in attendance are competing with China for sovereignty over parts of the trade- and resource-rich oceanic region.
Lately, China has been successful in elbowing its South Pacific neighbors out of the way in the South China Sea. For example, the Philippines has done a complete 180 in its position against China; meanwhile, whereas Manila was once Beijing’s largest detractor, it is now the country’s biggest ally in the South Pacific.
China’s Ultimate Goal – Global Preeminence – Hasn’t Changed
Money Morning Executive Editor Bill Patalon has been watching Beijing’s movements for years. In fact, he’s been following developments in the “Asian arms race” for three decades.
On Aug. 17, Bill told subscribers that “Beijing isn’t looking for true give-and-take cooperation. It isn’t looking for what the China Daily refers to as ‘the dedicated efforts of China and ASEAN to resolve their differences through dialogue.'”
Rather, Beijing’s idea of cooperation is “you cave in and agree to let us do whatever we want.”
It looks like that’s precisely what the Philippines has been doing in the South China Sea, for example.
Bill also knows that the United States won’t let China have its way – and that Trump’s praise strategically serves America in much the same way Beijing’s compliance serves China.
Full article: China’s Sudden Cooperation with the United States Is Only Temporary (MoneyMorning)