China Tells U.S. and North Korea to Chill

Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at the Treasure Island Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada June 18, 2016. REUTERS/David Becker - RTX2GYKG

Following heightened tensions between the United States and North Korea, the Chinese propaganda machine is making a surprising move. It’s telling both parties to cool it and dial back the tone.

China’s state run Global Times, which is often filled with nationalistic and pro-military rhetoric, recently ran an editorial calling for peace. It read, “Washington and Pyongyang have been intensifying hostile and threatening rhetoric against each other for some time. Their frequent saber-rattling, unimaginable in the past, is escalating tensions in Northeast Asia,”

No stranger to speaking his mind, President Donald Trump on Saturday issued to North Korea what many called a warning of war. Via a Twitter post, he slammed his predecessors for decades of failed negotiations and monetary incentives that only made the North Korean war machine stronger. “ … agreements violated before the ink was dry, makings fools of U.S. negotiators. Sorry, but only one thing will work!” he Tweeted.

Later on Tuesday, the U.S. sent two Air Force B-1B Lancer Bombers over the Korean peninsula — perhaps even visible from Kim Jong Un’s throne. The Hermit Kingdom has recently come under more sanctions after testing nuclear devices.

But for China, the war games and shouting matches are getting all too real.

Another state-run paper The People’s Daily ran an editorial warning, “War on the Korean Peninsula would be catastrophic, and dialogue remains the best option.” And although the article acknowledged “logic behind Trump’s threats,” it concluded that war can’t be the answer.

A day before that editorial ran, Hua Chunying said at a press conference, “The current situation on the Korean Peninsula remains highly complex and severe. We hope that various parties can strictly observe and implement the UN Security Council resolutions, refrain from provoking each other and aggravating the contradiction, exercise restraint and caution to ease the tension.”

About Andrew Burke 145 Articles
Editor-in-Chief Andrew Burke is a lifelong aficionado of all things Chinese. He studied Mandarin while living in Taiwan for six years and now works as a digitization specialist at the Yenching Library, which specializes in Asian books and documents, at Harvard University where he also studies topics related to China, Chinese, Asia and foreign affairs.