Contributed by Jim Hayes
Donald Trump has set out to lift the level of provocation of north Korea and China at the same time.
It comes when China has joined with Russia to promote the demilitarisation of the whole Korean Peninsula.
Trump is following long standing American policy to oppose this. The position has been that the North must demilitarise, while a large scale American military presence remains in the south and seas around the Peninsula.
But it is this military presence and the established missile network that is provoking the north to build up its nuclear and missile delivery systems. This come on top of the memory of a brutal bombing campaign and invasion in the 1950’s and the threat of economic sanctions. It is the failure to turn away from this that is blocking a resolution.
Failure to move on demilitarisation prompted the recent launch of North Korea’s latest intercontinental ballistic missile, which has the ability to reach American territory.
The China/Russia push for North Korea to freeze its nuclear program and for the United States to simultaneously remove the so called ‘missile Defence system‘ and move towards the demilitarisation of the Korean Peninsula, is the best option to secure cooperation, peace and honor United Nations resolutions.
Donald Trump’s reaction has been to vehemently go the other way arrogantly tell the Chinese to slap down the north Koreans. Predictably, that has not gone down well at all.
At the same time, Trump upped the ante with China, by conducting further military exercises in the South China Sea, where there is a dispute over the ownership of islands. China sees this as an attempt by the United States to build a military presence, aimed against the Chinese mainland and to take control of one of the world’s most important shipping routes.
This is not conducive to the promotion of cooperation and peace. On the contrary, this provocative colonial style gunboat diplomacy is the number one threat to world peace today. The danger is that the bullying will be scaled up to the point of no return and inevitable, which that will draw the whole world in.
Punitive economic sanctions on China have already been talked about. Their imposition would certainly hurt China and it would provoke a response. China is the engine of the global economy and and a trade war will drag down the world, cause massive poverty, raise international tensions and create conditions for the escalation of military conflict.
Unfortunately, the United Kingdom and Japan have joined cause with the United States, in a re-enactment of nineteenth and twentieth century colonialism spheres of influence. They are not acting to enforce the peace, but to control the Korean Peninsula.
This is ultimately connected to the containment of China, born out of fear growing Chinese economic might and diplomatic power, while theirs is dissipating.
Australia is particularly vulnerable, because of heavy dependency on exports to China.
What does the Australian government do? Goes all the way with the USA. If it comes to the worst, this will go down in history, as the greatest betrayal of our national security and interests.
China’s foreign ministry has called for all sides to remain calm and exercise restraint and Vice-Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao warned the United States not to use the situation as an excuse to impose sanctions against China.