Wednesday, December 1, 2010

China May Be Inclined to Ditch North Korea, According to Wikileaks

A few days after I posted my theory about how China would benefit from allowing North Korea to collapse and the two Koreas to unite under Seoul, Wikileaks was so kind as to provide the world's media with an ungodly amount of secret diplomatic correspondence.  The documents show at least some elements of the Chinese government are thinking in the same way.

(In fact, the Chinese officials were willing to concede far more than I expected--they would tolerate U.S. troops in united Korea provided they stayed south of the 38th Parallel and wouldn't mind a "benign alliance" between the US and South Korea.)

Some members of my alternate-history forum think that the release of these cables will push the Chinese back toward supporting the North rather than cutting it loose for its bad behavior.  I hope that this is not the case.  Continuing to enable North Korea is making things worse for everybody (the Chinese government itself, the neighbors, and the millions suffering under Kim's odious rule) and provides a continued rationale for U.S. troops in South Korea and Japan, something the Chinese government I imagine doesn't like even if they are more tolerant of this than I expected.

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