After nearly a month of belligerent bluster from North Korea, China appears to have had enough, ending its silence about North Korea’s brinkmanship and suddenly roaring its disapproval of its ally’s reckless threats. China’s exceptionally tough talk does not necessarily mean that it intends to abandon Kim Jong Un’s regime. But, at the very least, it does suggest that a radical shift in China’s policy toward North Korea might no longer be unthinkable.
When Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi exchanged phone calls with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on April 6, he expressed China’s rejection of rhetoric and action aimed at destabilizing the northeast Asian region. Moreover, Wang made clear that China would not allow “troublemaking on China’s doorstep.”