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Old 06-04-2018, 02:03 AM
 
4,665 posts, read 2,660,278 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silverkris View Post
I agree that NK is not a puppet. They've been able to play their hand well for decades despite their very vulnerable situation.

I don't agree that China wins if NK collapses. Actually, they're pretty darned fearful if that happens, because they may be faced with an onslaught of refugees trying to cross the Yalu river going into China, and therefore a border security issue.

They're also very wary of a united Korea, because it is likely to be dominated by the South and therefore aligned with the US, which is unnerving from a geopolitical point of view to the Chinese. Remember that China has historically seen Korea as a buffer state for centuries. Having a divided Korea, for the present, actually gives China a bit more of a territorial buffer - they can at least influence North Korea to some extent and put distance between them and the US-S. Korea - Japan grouping.

So it might be in China's current interest to maintain the status quo - though that's also a precarious position, and Beijing isn't all that fond of NK's actions and antics at times.
Sure, China worries about stability along the border. But, S Korea is Chinaís 4th largest trade partner, 3rd if one doesnít count Hong Kong. With a unified Korea that is going to increase significantly and that should appeal to China. N Korea doesnít even make the top 50 trade partners and Iím pretty sure China spends more on N Korean relief then they ever get back.

With modern technology and the US having other allies right on Chinaís border, I donít think the N korean buffer zone is really that important. It may have played an important role at one time. But I honestly believe China only worries about losing face at this point.

Iím not sure about Korea being a historic buffer. In reality, China had little authority in most of Manchuria for most of modern history, going back atleast a couple hundred of years. Japan had control well into China for a long period of time prior to WWII, and Imperialist Russia before that, and the Manchu before that. The region has been ethnic Chinese for a long time, but it hasnít been ruled by a Chinese dynasty for a long time until the Soviet Union started giving up territory to China during and post WWII.
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Old 06-04-2018, 06:47 AM
 
15,748 posts, read 9,293,764 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattks View Post
I don't entirely agree. I don't believe N Korea is China or anyone else's puppet. N Korea has been off the rails since the Soviet Union lost control of them just prior to the Korean War. The Soviet Union was a very minimal player in the Korean War, and North Korea pivoted toward China during and after that time period, but Chinese-N Korean relations are not very good and haven't been for well over a decade. China heavily influences N Korea, but that does not mean they control N Korea.

China does win if N Korea collapses. N Korea is no longer necessary for a buffer between China and the West. China has pivoted toward S Korea over a decade ago and unlike N Korea, they have a great trade relationship, and that is what China is all about. China isn't going to become the next super power by military might, but through trade and economics, and with a unified and prosperous Korea under Seoul, China does win.

Of course, on the flip side, China doesn't want to admit they were on the wrong side of history either and lose face. I think that is why China is working so hard to mediate between N Korea and US/S Korea.

N Korea has lost almost all their allies in the last decade, and even their closest ally, China, has much better relations with S Korea then N Korea.

I do agree this is all a facade. Every once in a while N Korea has to play along with the rest of the world and try to appear like they are a decent government, otherwise they are going to lose too much money for their aristocracy. I don't believe N Korea has any intentions of achieving "normalcy."

I hope I am wrong, but I believe the only way N Korea is going to see change is by a toppling of their government. I personally believe this will happen internally at some point. China and the US/S Korea are both ready to jump in if that happens. China keeps a large mobilized force on the border, just in case this happens. It will be really interesting to see what happens, if that did happen. Would China simply occupy until the situation is stabilized and then hand over whatever it is administrating to S Korea, or try to keep it and install a new government of N Korea. Either way, I think that is what will happen.
China does not win if North Korea collapses. The hoards of refugees that will pour across the border will have a huge impact on China's already struggling economy. I think that's why they do what they can to keep North Korea somewhat stable.

I do agree that there will be an internal "change" at some point. The sanctions are affecting the money coming in to Kim. Money he uses to bribe the military officers that would love to seize power from him. With that money gone, the elite have no reason to keep him at the helm. Sadly, I think a change would make no difference. Just a different sort of evil.
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Old 06-04-2018, 10:13 AM
 
Location: Silicon Valley, CA
9,944 posts, read 6,661,995 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattks View Post
Sure, China worries about stability along the border. But, S Korea is Chinaís 4th largest trade partner, 3rd if one doesnít count Hong Kong. With a unified Korea that is going to increase significantly and that should appeal to China. N Korea doesnít even make the top 50 trade partners and Iím pretty sure China spends more on N Korean relief then they ever get back.

With modern technology and the US having other allies right on Chinaís border, I donít think the N korean buffer zone is really that important. It may have played an important role at one time. But I honestly believe China only worries about losing face at this point.

Iím not sure about Korea being a historic buffer. In reality, China had little authority in most of Manchuria for most of modern history, going back atleast a couple hundred of years. Japan had control well into China for a long period of time prior to WWII, and Imperialist Russia before that, and the Manchu before that. The region has been ethnic Chinese for a long time, but it hasnít been ruled by a Chinese dynasty for a long time until the Soviet Union started giving up territory to China during and post WWII.
Economic relations and geopolitical security are two different aspects for China on the Korean Peninsula.

Sure, they trade a heck of a lot more with South Korea. Doesn't change their wariness of the potential of having a bunch of troops that aren't as friendly to them near the Yalu River as opposed to a bit further south (@ the 38th Parallel).

Well, the imperialist history on China's eastern flank with Russia and Japan was and is seen as undesirable and a bad era from Chinese eyes, so that wouldn't necessarily mean that the Chinese foregoes the traditional view of Korea as a buffer state. In fact, it can be argued that the history of invaders reinforces that perceived need of a buffer land.
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Old 06-04-2018, 12:38 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
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I think the losing face bit would only come up in the trade of Taiwan for N. Korea. N. Korea only exists because Communist China sent all of the old KMT soldiers into Korea to defend it, expelling a potential problem for Mao while spoiling things for the US, who had stuck by Taiwan as the ally that helped them defeat Japan in WWII.

Since then, stalemate. The US recognizes one China, but doesn't say which one...and doesn't recognize N. Korea. China spends billions influencing nations to end diplomacy with Taiwan, and keeps N. Korea from imploding.

I mean, where do you think all of these rocketry advances started coming from? Home grown missile technology advanced from striking S. Korea to hitting the US in a decade without outside help? This is a genius move by Xi. Get the US focused on N. Korea and off them.

Trump, or whoever is feeding Trump, gets the world rallied up enough to enforce tougher sanctions. Suddenly Rocket Man's regime looks less stable and China doesn't have a direct way to feed them and keep them going.

If Rocket Man can catch a quick easement of sanctions, China will stuff those foodstocks to keep them going past the Trump Presidency. China definitely loses if N. Korea fails. Regime change will be swift and unpredictable....and if military is involved, the US and her allies suddenly are bringing in a lot of troops to sit on the border. This is China's nightmare situation as those troops can then pivot to things like....who owns what sea.

So I think the trade is to try to quietly bring about change in N. Korea, and Taiwan slowly aligns itself more and more with Communist China. When it looks like both switches can occur, Korea gets N. Korea and China can sponsor an election where Taiwan votes to reunite with mainland China with certain differences...like Hong Kong.
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Old 06-04-2018, 04:40 PM
 
Location: Manhattan, NYC
905 posts, read 635,415 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by artillery77 View Post
So I think the trade is to try to quietly bring about change in N. Korea, and Taiwan slowly aligns itself more and more with Communist China. When it looks like both switches can occur, Korea gets N. Korea and China can sponsor an election where Taiwan votes to reunite with mainland China with certain differences...like Hong Kong.
Why would China "want" Korea to be united when they "get" Taiwan? Seems to be two uncorrelated topics for me.
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Old 06-04-2018, 05:28 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
3,648 posts, read 1,651,627 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gasolin View Post
Why would China "want" Korea to be united when they "get" Taiwan? Seems to be two uncorrelated topics for me.
They wouldn't. That's the grand bargain they've been willing to make for a long time though.
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Old 06-05-2018, 11:05 PM
 
Location: Houston
1,151 posts, read 958,006 times
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I'm just an educated older white American guy, who perhaps has an attitude that one might expect. At least, as one who wants to see China as a friend, despite our differences in government. As such, I think that the idea of North Korea as a buffer that protects China from US aggression is obsolete. Also, I view North Korea as being similar to hereditary monarchies that have existed in many past feudal societies. As such, I could accept their regime as long as it acted more kindly toward its own people. I'm reminded of what an ABC buddy of mine reminded me of: "the best form of government is a benevolent dictatorship". Not sure I entirely agree, since benevolent dictators eventually die and someone else takes over.

One concern I have is that the Chinese leadership would bend toward reverence for emotional concerns of the past, rather than taking a rational view toward the future, which other countries like the US could also buy into.
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Old 06-06-2018, 11:42 AM
 
Location: Silicon Valley, CA
9,944 posts, read 6,661,995 times
Reputation: 6302
Quote:
Originally Posted by madrone2k View Post
I'm just an educated older white American guy, who perhaps has an attitude that one might expect. At least, as one who wants to see China as a friend, despite our differences in government. As such, I think that the idea of North Korea as a buffer that protects China from US aggression is obsolete. Also, I view North Korea as being similar to hereditary monarchies that have existed in many past feudal societies. As such, I could accept their regime as long as it acted more kindly toward its own people. I'm reminded of what an ABC buddy of mine reminded me of: "the best form of government is a benevolent dictatorship". Not sure I entirely agree, since benevolent dictators eventually die and someone else takes over.

One concern I have is that the Chinese leadership would bend toward reverence for emotional concerns of the past, rather than taking a rational view toward the future, which other countries like the US could also buy into.
Well, what matters is how the Chinese view Korea historically and by extension, the countries on their borders. They do want to have friendly relations with as many nations as possible - they have a general policy of mutual non-aggression with countries that they don't see as direct threats - but at the same time, they're realistic, and they are very mindful of the historic context. They'll want to have good relations with the USA but at the same time, be very careful and watchful of US strategic and geopolitical aims in Asia.

What China is extremely fearful is about a large superpower (or hegemonic power, in their words) who try to align with the lands/regions bordering them. This could represent Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Burma/Myanmar. So you can imagine them seeing the old security or regional arrangements such as SEATO, ASEAN as a countervailing influence that can be used against China.
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Old 06-09-2018, 02:02 PM
 
Location: Taipei
6,796 posts, read 5,160,908 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by artillery77 View Post
Since then, stalemate. The US recognizes one China, but doesn't say which one...and doesn't recognize N. Korea. China spends billions influencing nations to end diplomacy with Taiwan, and keeps N. Korea from imploding.
The US recognises both PRC and DPRK, but does not recognise that Taiwan belong to PRC. Japan and South Korea are the two countries that don't recognise North Korea. Please get your facts straight first.
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Old 06-09-2018, 03:19 PM
 
Location: Manchester NH
9,797 posts, read 2,713,501 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greysholic View Post
The US recognises both PRC and DPRK, but does not recognise that Taiwan belong to PRC. Japan and South Korea are the two countries that don't recognise North Korea. Please get your facts straight first.
NK, Taiwan, Iran, and Cuba are the four countries the United States does not have diplomatic ties with.
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