Is there any piece of received wisdom more universally invoked than the inane piety that China wants to calm North Korea down, and gets annoyed when the Kims act up? It’s hard to think of many. This hoary premise gets trotted out every time. And every time, it comes up short on explanatory or operational value. It’s never relevant to why the Kim went crazy. Nor is China coming down on a Kim ever the key to settling the Kim’s hash. If the snarling Kim stops yelping for a while, it’s always because the U.S. was induced to do something – intensify some negotiating stance, make some offer, fork over some “aid,” make a concession to China; or maybe just look alert enough to make it the wrong time for a showdown.
You’d think someone would figure this out. Continue reading “Wrong, hackneyed, overworked: Beyond the usual analysis of “China and North Korea””