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(EDITORIAL from The Korea Times on July 26)

All News 07:14 July 26, 2016

Regret on China
Wang Yi busts protocols, shows narrow worldview

It's deplorable to see Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi engage in a public show of bullying his South Korean counterpart Yun Byung-se about Seoul's decision to deploy the advanced U.S. missile interceptor against North Korea's missile threat in their meeting at the start of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) in Vientiane, Laos.

Wang's act and remarks regarding Korea's Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) move prove that Beijing is engrossed only in its parochial self-interest, is willing to antagonize even a friend at the first sign of a conflict of interest and, thereby, raises questions about its fitness as a global superpower as opposed and in cooperation with the existing superpower, the United States.

If it can't correct its narrow-minded worldview, it will only strengthen its neighbors' fears about China bullying them, making them side with the U.S. Maybe, China should settle for the pariah of North Korea as its only friend.

In Sunday night's meeting, Beijing's top envoy was "uncivilized" both in word and manner.

"South Korea's recent act (deploying THAAD) has hurt the basis for mutual trust," Wang told Yun. "It's regretful. We will see what practical action Korea will take to prevent the two nations' ties from cooling down." It was nothing less than a mixture of an attempt to violate Korea's sovereignty for its THAAD deployment, a decision for its self-preservation and a threat forcing Korea to roll the decision back or face the consequences.

First, China has idly used its leverage as the only benefactor of the North to defuse its nuclear and missile programs that includes Korea as the latter's primary target and failed to act on Seoul's fears and for regional and global peace. Rather, it has played on its neighbors' suspicions that it uses the North as a buffer against the U.S. in their hegemonic struggle, being secure in the thought that the North falls into its hands, becoming its 23rd province or sixth autonomous region, if it collapses.

Besides, Seoul has only decided to allow THAAD to be deployed after a series of missile tests by the North, when it was absolutely clear that Beijing had no plans to deal with its rogue friend. Seoul also went to extra lengths to explain to Beijing the inevitability of the deployment in meeting its basic needs for security. As repeatedly pointed out by Seoul, the THAAD will be moved out when the North's threat is dealt with. So it is China that should act on the North for THAAD removal, not blackmailing its friend.

Plus, Wang traveled with North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho on the same plane, which appeared more as an arrangement rather than just coincidental, making us wonder whether the two are trying to restore their ties, if they haven't already. China should remember it has signed onto the United Nations' toughest-ever sanctions against the North but there are emerging anecdotes of evidence that it has been cheating on these.

China's intentions were too naked to miss when Wang called in a larger number of reporters than originally planned to let them see his "upbraiding" of Yun.
Wang's behavior was so crude that we also wonder whether it represents the world vision President Xi Jinping, the self-proclaimed promoter of no hegemony.

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