China: N. Korea ‘must pay a heavy price’ for third nuclear test
It’s widely predicted that North Korea will soon conduct another nuclear test. Sino-North Korean relations now face a new challenge.
It’s unlikely China would punish North Korea as harshly as countries like the US, Japan and South Korea would prefer, and the friendship between the two sides is not going to end. The West should understand this clearly. However, if North Korea insists on a third nuclear test despite attempts to dissuade it, it must pay a heavy price. The assistance it will be able to receive from China should be reduced. The Chinese government should make this clear beforehand to shatter any illusions Pyongyang may have.
Some Chinese scholars believe that China will face a diplomatic challenge if North Korea carries out a third nuclear test. They worry that Pyongyang will turn against China because of China’s participation in some international sanctions against it. In the worst case scenario, the rupture that occurred in relations between China and the Soviet Union will be repeated. Such concerns are driven by a lack of confidence in China’s national strength, and they exaggerate North Korea’s diplomatic irrationality.