What once was a bromance is quickly becoming a…no…mance?
According to the Daily Caller, the two leaders within the communist countries of North Korea and China are not the biggest fans of one another.
China’s leader, Xi Jinping, had a vision for China’s future that would have put it on track to be a respected global power. However, when North Korean leader Kim Jong Un took over after his father Kim Jong Il passed away, China’s respectability has taken a hit.
China is something akin to North Korea’s big brother. With Kim’s consistent agitation of the United States and its allies with the continuation of its nuclear missile program, and launching missiles like they were 4th July fireworks, China has been put into a difficult position.
Trump has called for China’s intervention with North Korea on more than one occasion to less than satisfactory results. As he does, Trump lashed out at Xi on everything from statements to the press to Twitter. China, of course, hasn’t taken that lying down either.
The tension North Korea has caused for China has set back Xi’s plan, and he’s not at all happy about it, according to the Daily Caller:
The only time former U.S. Ambassador to China Max Baucus has ever heard the professional Chinese president use “undiplomatic language” was when he was talking about Kim, Baucus revealed to the British Broadcasting Network.
“I’ve only heard President Xi speak derogatorily about a person once, and when he did so, it was in fairly strong terms. That was when he was quite critical, a couple of years ago, of Kim Jong-un,” Baucus explained, adding: “He does not like Kim Jong-un. That is very clear.”
Xi and Kim have never met, which is unusual for the two countries.
Kim in return had reportedly called Xi a “son of a b**ch” during meetings with officials, and North Korea’s state-run media has repeatedly published articles condemning China for not stalwartly standing with its old ally.
According to Cheng Xiaohe, a professor at Renmin University in Beijing who has ties to the Chinese government said the friendship between China and North Korea is now over.
“China once had a special relationship with the Soviet Union, but China had war with that country. China had a very special relationship with Vietnam, but the two countries fought in a war. I think the relationship between China and North Korea is worse,” said Cheng. “There are no permanent friends, no permanent friends.”
This may mean that should North Korea push China too far away from Xi’s intended goals, China itself may strike at North Korea.
“China has a bottom line that it will protect at all costs, that is, the security and stability of northeast China,” said an April report from The Global Times. “If the bottom line is touched, China will employ all means available including the military means to strike back … By that time, it is not an issue of discussion whether China acquiesces in the US’ blows, but the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) will launch attacks [on] DPRK nuclear facilities on its own.”
China is still, like the U.S., attempting to find diplomatic solutions to the North Korean problem. However, also like the U.S., it’s not finding a lot of success.