Comments on Brendan Taylor, ANU “US–China cooperation on North Korea remains critical”, 26/07/2017
This is a useful and interesting post. I have some comments on it.
Firstly, the statement that the "Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is in lockstep with Washington, asserting at last month’s Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore that ‘China has the capacity and responsibility to bring North Korea to its senses’", describes the PM's either lack of or superficial understanding of the real situation in terms of China's influence on NK, or his simply grandiose political standing to show to both his domestic audience and his US ally how 'strong' and 'principled' he is. It is likely to be political hypocrisy to the extreme but preformed very poorly.
The PM way think it is so simple, logical and elegant to blame China for having not exerted enough pressure on NK, but is it really like that? Is it that impressive or effective? I am not sure how impressed Chinese leaders are by that performance.
Secondly, the use of the phrase "the so-called middle and hermit kingdoms" in the paragraph, "Yet ties between the so-called middle and hermit kingdoms have drifted over the past quarter century, deteriorating sharply under the reign of the current North Korean leader, the young and reckless dictator Kim Jong-un", is unfortunate and misleading. China is by no means a kingdom, far from it! The use reflects some sort of unwarranted stereotype of China in the west.
Thirdly, in addition to the few reasons (I don't necessarily share or agree with all of them, because there is no mention of any humanitarian concerns or motivations at all but only self-interests) that the author uses to explain why "Beijing’s unwillingness to exert greater economic pressure against Pyongyang ", is another one. That is, the US and Korea have frequently or regularly been conducting military exercises, of which some of them obviously very intimidating not only to the NK, but seriously affecting regional peace and stability.
It is no use and no good to just only mention one side of the NK nuclear and missile issues while ignoring the other contributing side. Aren't people saying that what occurred to the former Libyan leader Gaddafi and Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein provided some examples that partially motivated NK's leader for NK's programs?Fourthly, “the recent chill in US–China relations does not auger well” in terms of successful resolving the issues, as the author puts it. In addition to those factors the author mentioned as contributing factors, it should not be to anyone’s surprise that it would not be easy to work with the current US president, whether it is for people from within the US or outside the US. He wants to do things his own way, let him do it. The ball is in his court and let’s see how best he can play with it.