January 08, 2010 12:28
A U.S. expert on inter-Korean affairs claims that China is fundamentally against the reunification of the two Koreas.
During a speech entitled "The Cost and Consequences of Korean Unification" delivered in Washington on Wednesday, Peter Beck, a research fellow at Stanford University's Asia Pacific Research Center, said China is against reunification should it stem from a failed North Korea and that its principal policy regarding the Korean Peninsula is stability.
This is because China does not want another predicament on its border with the North, like the famine in the mid-1990s that drove thousands of North Korean refugees into Manchuria, Beck said.
If either internal or external troubles in Pyongyang trigger a reunification, Beck predicted that Beijing will first seal its border with the North and then establish a buffer zone some 15 to 30 km wide to prevent chaos from crossing into China.
However, the scholar said a reunification initiated by a vibrant South Korea will be most welcomed by the U.S. and bolster Korea-U.S. relations. And although China's actions after reunification are difficult to guess, he predicted that if a unified Korea maintained its ties with Washington, China would take an aggressive stance to improve relations with its neighbor.
Beck said that Japan is also against reunification of the Korean peninsula since it could raise Korea's potential to become a major regional power.
- Copyright © Chosunilbo & Chosun.com