May 30, 2018 13:22
Chinese state media are stressing the importance of Beijing's role on the Korean Peninsula amid fears that North Korea's sole ally could be frozen out of a peace process.
So far all the initiative bringing about a summit between the U.S. and North Korea has come from the two Koreas and Washington. China has twice welcomed North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to summits, but there have been no attempts to include it in talks to bring a formal end to the Korean War.
In an editorial on Tuesday, the official Global Times slammed "arguments about limiting China's influence on the peninsula" as "ridiculous."
"For instance, some say they don't want China, one of the signatories of the Korean Armistice Agreement, to participate in the signing of the joint declaration to end the state of war," it complained.
But China "is a crucial driving force of the progress on the peninsula," it said.
It admitted that North Korea "is a fully independent country" and "China does not have a decisive influence on the affairs of the peninsula." But it added, "Without China, major decisions in the region can hardly take shape or be implemented in a stable way."
"The U.S. and South Korea should neither underestimate China nor irresponsibly shift their responsibilities to China," it warned in its familiar Martian style.
"China should and must be involved in the Korean Peninsula peace process, considering its efforts to promote the Singapore summit and its role as a concerned party in the 1953 armistice treaty," it said.
It quoted Zheng Jiyong of Fudan University's Center for Korean Studies as saying, "China is indispensable in the peace process and it is wrong and dangerous to say China's involvement in current negotiations to end the state of war would cause disputes between China and the U.S."
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