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.