North Korean nuclear test exploits U.S. - China tensions
Beijing chides North Korea, but nothing much happens.
The world has seen this movie before and it’s likely to witness another rerun after North Korea’s third nuclear test on Tuesday.
Beijing has always been loath to back harsh sanctions on North Korea, fearing it could lead to upheaval in the unpredictable nation on its doorstep. Now, threatened by the US military’s “pivot” to Asia, Beijing is even less likely to fall in line with Washington’s position on North Korea.
“The more the United States rebalances its forces in the Western Pacific, the more China has to give leeway in regulating its relationship with North Korea,” said Shen Dingli, a regional security expert at Shanghai’s Fudan University.
And North Korea is exploiting the current high levels of Sino-American mistrust.