Recently, Barbara Walters talked to President Obama about North Korea’s shelling of a South Korean island near the DMZ.
Obama said South Korea was one of America’s most important alliances (in Asia), which has to be true since South Korea has many Christians (about a third of the population). It also has a strong open market, capitalist economy and a democratic government.
However, although China is considered North Korea’s only friend and ally, the two countries are different today.
First, China left the autocratic Maoist revolutionary form of government behind soon after Mao’s death.
Second, China is a republic that appears to be moving toward democracy and has an open market economy similar to South Korea’s.
I said in a previous post, “China’s reluctance to put public pressure on Pyongyang to step off the warhorse might be because the Chinese feel it would be like pressuring a family member.” Source: China and North Korea
That may no longer be the case.
Austin Ramzy writing for TIME says, “The news, delivered at a rare Sunday press conference, was that China was calling for emergency consultations between itself, North and South Korea, the U.S., Japan and Russia… it was a welcome call for calm by the North’s key ally.”
Many in the world should be glad of China’s relationship with the Hermit Kingdom. If it weren’t for China, there would be no one North Korea would listen to.
Walters also was in China with President Richard Nixon in 1972, and she paints a picture of China about thirty-eight years ago that vividly offers a contrast to today’s China.
Then in April 2009, Walters asked Jiang Zemin (China’s third president after Mao died) what happened to the famous “tank man” of the Tiananmen Square incident of 1989.
Walters says, “Did you execute him? We heard he was arrested and executed.”
Zemin replied that he did not know what happened to the man. Then he said he thinks the man was never killed.
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