To Stop Kim Jong-un, China Needs A Big Prize: The South China Sea

1:59:00 AM



Without any doubt, China can stop Kim Jong-un’s missile tests.  Once and for all, and save a lot of trouble for America and its allies—and for Asian market investors.

But to do that, China needs a big prize, the South China Sea. All of it, so Beijing can write its own navigation rules, exploit all the riches that are hidden beneath, and satisfy the nationalistic sentiment it has nurtured.

The Korean Peninsula is far away from the South China Sea. But the on-going crisis in the Korean Peninsula isn’t independent from what’s going on in the South China Sea, as there is a key player behind each conflict: China.


In fact, Kim Jong-un has emerged as China’s decoy in South China Sea disputes. As the world is fixated on Kim’s nuclear tests and missiles launches, China continues the building of artificial islands in the South China Sea, bullying every neighboring country that dares to challenge its ambitions to dominate the vast waterway. Like threatening the Philippines with all-out war should it enforce an international arbitration ruling, which confirmed that China has no historic title over the waters of the South China Sea.

China also told Vietnam and India to stop searching for oil in the region, or else risk an attack on the oil and gas bases. And it has demanded that Indonesia rescind its decision to rename its maritime region in the southwest part of the South China Sea as the “North Natuna Sea,” asserting its own sovereignty in the area.

 But it hasn’t stopped there. It further demanded that America’s close Asian ally, Japan, stay away from its “own” South China Sea.

Meanwhile, bilateral trade between China and North Korea has increased by nearly 20% last year, as Apostolos Pittas, adjunct professor of economics at Long Island University Post notes.

So far, Asian markets have been responding more to the Korean Peninsula crisis, losing a couple of percentage points any time Kim fires a missile and less on China’s South China Sea bullying.

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