Sounding like an annoyed father who has lost his patience with the constant signs of contempt from his teenager, China looks to put its foot down soon.
North Korea has made headlines around the world with its puffy bravado lately. Like a male pheasant, puffing in its mating dance, North Korea is making a lot of noise but garnering very little serious attention.
Officials in the United States and South Korea do not seem the least bit worried, even though they are going through the normal steps of preparing for the North to trigger World War III. The reason that the U.S. and South Korea are not worried is because they know that China does not want any shenanigans from North Korea, and in the end, won’t let anything happen.
China can sit back and enjoy how North Korea needles the West on occasion. However, China will not tolerate North Korea to mess up the good times China is enjoying right now. The only thing that can really derail China’s surge is a significant conflict in the region. If Asia was pushed to the brink, where Japan joins the West and Russia joins China, the world’s economy, currently being led by China, would be thrown into a tailspin.
The Chinese government may not be a big fan of the West, but it is a fan of our money and our consumption. It knows that if North Korea follows through with any of their threats, even just across the border in South Korea, that flow of Western money to China will be put at risk.
The other main reason that China will not let North Korea get too carried away is that it doesn’t want anyone to think that it cannot control the region. China plans to run the world at some point, and that begins with running your own region. China cannot afford to look like they cannot control issues on its own doorstep.
If North Korea can get away with this kind of behavior, who is to say that Taiwan and Hong Kong do not begin to think that they could get away with rebellious actions as well.
I realize that some may say that we are talking apples and oranges here, but showing an inability to handle a small ally that jeopardizes economic stability is not a display that a country like China wants to see on the international stage for long.
If China is to become the world power that it sees itself rising to, it must not only be an economic powerhouse, but a political powerhouse as well. The first step in being a political powerhouse is keeping troublemaking allies in line.
Expect a few more days of shenanigans from North Korea before it is grounded by China. Chinese officials won’t make the punishment public, but trust me; we’ll know when Pyongyang will be in the woodshed.
The silence will be deafening.
About The Blogger
– Dominic Dezzutti, producer of the Colorado Decides debate series, a co-production of CBS4 and Colorado Public Television, looks at the local and national political scene in his CBSDenver.com blog. Read new entries here every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Dezzutti writes about federal, state and local matters and how our elected leaders are handling the issues important to Colorado. Dezzutti also produces the Emmy winning Colorado Inside Out, hosted by Raj Chohan, on Colorado Public Television.