Chicken

I could have laughed out loud when I read Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s characterization of the situation between the U. S. and North Korea, reported here in the National Post:

China’s foreign minister urged North Korea to halt its nuclear activities and the U.S. to suspend nearby military drills, as a way to quell growing tensions and get Kim Jong Un back to the negotiating table.

“The two sides are like two accelerating trains coming towards each other, with neither side willing to give way,” Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Wednesday in Beijing. “The question is, are the two sides really ready for a head-on collision? Our priority now is to flash a red light and apply brakes on both trains.”

The Chinese could stop the Kim regime’s headlong rush to nuclear weapons capable of striking the mainland U. S. any time they cared to without threatening the regime’s collapse. Why haven’t they? My only guess is that they want the North Koreans to develop those weapons regardless of the consequences. Seems like a reckless strategy to me.

It brings to mind a somewhat different metaphor than the onrushing trains to me. In the world’s highest stakes game of “Chicken”, they’re taking the role of Natalie Wood, pictured above in a slightly fuzzy image.

This is clearly a game of “Let’s You and Him Fight” in the tragic mode. Why the Chinese think they can benefit from it eludes me.

4 comments… add one
  • walt moffett

    What can we offer the Chinese to exert themselves?

  • How about if the North Koreans attack us or the Japanese or the South Koreans, we’ll respond with force? How about pointing out that they have a lot to lose from such a conflict? How about that such a conflict would foment exactly what they have putatively been trying to avoid—huge number of North Koreans streaming across their border? How about that the Chinese will inevitably be drawn into such a conflict?

    China is a stakeholder. We don’t need to offer them anything.

  • michael reynolds

    It’s really quite simple: the Chinese need to build some more Trump hotels and golf resorts. I mean, they got him to agree to the One China policy with just a few trademark concessions. He’s for sale cheap.

  • walt moffett

    The Chinese could see one nuisance gone, others preoccupied with domestic reaction to the butchers bill, exhausted armed forces and who would object if in the closing days of the war, when purely in the name of Human Rights, China seizes a buffer zone and certain underground facilities. Then there’s reconstruction which could absorb a bit of China’s over production and Korean/US et al assets.

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