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China has no obligation to support Kim regime: expert

Jin Canrong Photo: Zhong Ying/

China is not responsible for helping North Korea to realize its ambition on the Korean Peninsula, a Chinese scholar pointed out, as the isolated nation has challenged the bottom line of the international community with its latest nuclear test in January and a rocket launch in February.

"North Korea is insatiate, and China has no duty to assist the Kim family to materialize its goals on the Korean Peninsula," said Jin Canrong, associate dean of the School of International Studies at Renmin University in Beijing.

Jin said that China's decision to turn its "special ties" with North Korea into a normal bilateral relationship will make way for a deeper China-US cooperation in dealing with the North Korean nuclear issue, hailing the candid talks between Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Barack Obama on the sidelines of the fourth Nuclear Security Summit in Washington as a "trump card" for controlling their divergences over the solution to the thorny issue.

North Korea's tactics of using national security as an excuse to possess nuclear weapons is to some extent justifiable, but it is not acceptable that it wants to depend on nuclear weapons to maintain the Kim family's dictatorship and to even unify the Korean Peninsula, said Jin.

The professor recalled his tour of North Korea in 2015 where he witnessed the strict ideological control and backward urban development, which he described as a failure of the Kim family's governance. Based on these facts, Jin said that China's scholars are inclined to accept the view that China has no reason to endorse the rule of the Kim family in North Korea.

However, Jin stressed that the special-relationship-to-normal-relationship shift does not indicate that China will completely alienate North Korea, suggesting that China should adopt a balanced policy to keep close ties with South Korea in order to jointly deal with the nuclear proliferation and refugee problem on the Korean Peninsula.

As the policies of China and the US toward North Korea are increasingly coming into alignment, China will continue to promote the building of a new type of great-power relationship with the US, which will produce more positive results in terms of the resolution of the North Korean nuclear issue, said the international relations expert.

The Nuclear Security Summit offers a good opportunity for China and the US to manage their differences on international problems, added Jin.

(The article is translated and edited by Ding Yi.)

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