Beijing will stay neutral if North Korea attacks US first, not the other way round: Global Times

By Lobsang Tenchoe

DHARAMSALA, August 11: China will stay neutral if North Korea launches an attack on the United States but will stop United States if it attacks first and tries to overthrow North Korea’s regime, says Chinese state-run media.

Amidst escalating tensions between the United States and North Korea, the Chinese state-run media, Global Times today ran an editorial to assert China’s interest in the Korean peninsula and stated Beijing will respond with a firm hand if their actions jeopardize China’s interests.

“Beijing is not able to persuade Washington or Pyongyang to back down at this time. It needs to make clear its stance to all sides and make them understand that when their actions jeopardize China’s interests, China will respond with a firm hand,” the editorial said.

However, the editorial on the Chinese tabloid published by the ruling Communist Party’s official People’s Daily has said that Beijing will stay neutral if North Korea launches an attack on the United States first, but not the other way round.

“China should also make clear that if North Korea launches missiles that threaten US soil first and the US retaliates, China will stay neutral. If the US and South Korea carry out strikes and try to overthrow the North Korean regime and change the political pattern of the Korean Peninsula, China will prevent them from doing so,” the editorial stated.

US President Donald Trump has threatened to strike North Korea with ‘fire and fury’, to which the North Korean regime has claimed it is carefully examining a plan to strike Guam (a US island territory in Micronesia, in the Western Pacific) with missile.

North Korea is of strategic importance to China in the region as it is a buffer state between China and the US forces based in South Korea, and also across the sea in Japan.