Australia to bring up North Korean sanctions with China

by Chris Zappone

This article says Australia will “will urge China to clamp down on the flow of technology and equipment crossing its borders into North Korea, which could be used by the rogue nation in its nuclear weapons program.”

It quotes a spokesman for Australia’s foreign minister as saying UN sanctions on North Korea “would be more effective if there was tighter implementation on ships and planes travelling to North Korea, including from China.”

“That’s something we’ll be talking about when we’re in China,” the spokesman said. But the article immediately says: it is “not suggested China is breaching the sanctions.”.

(shrug)

Anyway, with billions of dollars in trade per year crossing the border between China and North Korea, you have to wonder if the occasional missile launcher finds its way into the mix. Also, it’s not clear what sway Australia, a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council has over China – a permanent member.

Although the broader view is the China is holding its rhetorical fire on the US’s increased military maneuvers in South Korea, this article shows that China won’t tolerate too much of a public reconsideration of its relationship with North Korea. I like the quotes on China about the military’s unwillingness to be transparent.

“The Chinese people know how to shadow box and know even better about Sun Zi’s Art of War, so it (the military) won’t make public that which need not be known,” the official China New Service said in a commentary about the Korean tensions.

I think you could apply that to most matters with the Chinese military establishment. What the longer term effect that has on Asian-Pacific tensions and global affairs remains to be seen. But this is turning out to be a full-time feature in global affairs – the veil of secrecy held up in China that the world must navigate around.