China calls for diplomatic efforts to solve nuclear crisis on Korean Peninsula

Zhang Tao

by Xinhua writers Wang Lili, Geng Xuepeng

SINGAPORE, June 4 (Xinhua) -- The relevant parties at the 16th Shangri-La Dialogue, particularly China, here on Sunday urged the adoption of diplomatic means instead of military or economic punishment to finally solve the nuclear threat on the Korean Peninsula.

The crux of the nuclear crisis is Washington and Pyongyang's mistrust to each other, pointed out He Lei, head of the Chinese delegation to the dialogue who also serves as vice president of the Academy of Military Science of the People's Liberation Army of China (PLA).

The United States should become more open-minded and exert more wisdom in dealing with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), he suggested.

According to Koh Chin Yee, CEO of the Singapore-based Longus Institute for Development and Strategy, the two adversaries continuously increase their chips to intimidate each other before finally threading on each other's bottom lines.

At the invitation of the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) that initiated the event, U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis delivered a speech Saturday, saying that Pyongyang constituted the most urgent and dangerous threat to the region.

The Trump administration has made it clear on several recent occasions that the United States is losing "strategic patience" and all options are on the table, indicating that the largest military power in the world might resort to the use of force in dealing with his long-time rival. America's recent military attacks on Syria and Afghanistan were interpreted as a strong warning against the disobedient Asian country.

It's better for the concerned parties to argue at the negotiation table than to cross fire at the battlefield, suggested Zhao Xiaozhuo, an attendee and research fellow from the Academy of Military Science of the PLA.

The use of force could terminate one problem for the time being, but it would generate 10 more problems, he warned.

In addition to military means, Mattis pledged in his speech to continue to increase diplomatic and economic pressures, until Pyongyang finally and permanently abandons its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

Putting economic pressures on Pyongyang, according to the Asia-Pacific Regional Security Assessment 2017 published by IISS ahead of the security forum, is largely ineffective.

What's worse, the chance looks remote for Washington and Pyongyang to sit down to talk. An arduous task it surely would be, but if one side takes concrete steps toward that direction, there is always room for diplomacy.

The only way out of the nuclear mire lies in the endeavor in the field of diplomacy, as China has always advocated. China firmly supports a denuclearized and peaceful peninsula, and has all along called upon the relevant sides to return to the negotiation table, according to the Chinese delegation.

The three-day Shangri-La Dialogue organized by the IISS gathered senior military officials, diplomats and experts from over 30 countries.


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