Chinese people's reaction to North Korea missile test

While the international society is working hard to maintain the security and peace on the Korean Peninsula, North Korea has conducted the second nuclear test on 25 May and launched several missile tests the following days. As the Chinese government has been in good relation with North Korea, it would be interesting to see the mainland Chinese people's opinions on the recent North Korea’s military provocation.

Yide, a mainland blogger predicted that China would not show a strong military alliance with North Korea as it did during the Korean war. He listed out three reasons as below:


1. Military confrontation with the United States is against Chinese national interests. China has entered into the track of economic centric development and integrated with the global market economy. Economic relation between the US and China is mutually dependent and inseparable; The political legitimacy of the state has been heavily depending on the sustainable prosperity and such prosperity was relied on China's success in entering the U.S market.

2) 自中韓建交之後,北韓便認為中國背離了傳統的社會主義軌道,兩國在意識形態領域出現著巨大分歧,諸多大陸資深評論家已對北韓持嚴厲批評的態度。如張璉瑰 說:“相對於穩定而言,我更關心的是朝鮮半島的無核化。我們的鄰國進行核子試驗不符合中國的利益。”、張玉山則說:“北韓已成為中國的一大問題。它已成為 世界上一個危險的角色。”

2. After the establishment of formal bilateral diplomatic link between South Korea and China, the North Korean government believed that China has been departed from the traditional socialist track. There is a huge difference between the two nations’ ideology and critics from mainland China have made some very harsh criticism on North Korea diplomacy. As Zhang Liangui argued, “Apart from stability issue, I have greater concern over North Korean peninsula's denuclearization. Nuclear test in our neighboring country is definitely in conflict with our national interest”. Zhang Yushan added, “North Korea has become one of the biggest problems for China and it plays a dangerous role in the world.”



3. There have been several senior bilateral and multilateral meetings between China and South Korea to consolidate the mutual understanding and trust. These meetings helped to promote the relation between two countries…..On the contrary, the total amount of foreign trade between China and North Korea is only USD 2 billion, much less than Sino-South Korean trade.

Kim Jong Il is indeed following the logic of “crying over spilled milk” to push the Obama’s administration for more concession regardless of Chinese government's standpoint. However, this tactic can no longer work. Now the fact is: the Korean nuclear problem has become the barrel of gunpowder next to China.

Another Chinese blogger in Shangdong was outraged by North Korea's nuclear test. As she shared in her blog,

正当国际社会最近一在努力争取恢复朝核六方会谈的时候,朝鲜忽然反其道而行之,于5月25 日再次进行地下核试验。到这则新闻时,我真的无语了 。 无赖! 当前的朝鲜局势看上去是稳定的,但朝鲜拥有了核武装之后,其局势或稳定或动荡,最大的承受方就是中国。当然,朝鲜之所以发展核武器,公开目标是指向美国,日本和韩国,但在客观上,她是中国周边地区的新隐患

While the international society has been trying hard to resume the six parties talk, North Korea suddenly moved into the opposite direction and launched the underground nuclear test on 25 May. I was stunned when I read the news. It is a complete rotter! The situation in Korea peninsular has been quite stable in the past few decades. However, once the North Korean owned the nuclear weapons, the regional stability has been upset and China has to bare the consequence. No doubt, the evident target for the development of North Korea nuclear weapons was the United States, Japan and South Korea. But given its geographical position, it is also a potential threat to China.

On the Qiangguo forum, an official website which is run by China’s state owned The People’s Daily, netizens spelled out their anger over the nuclear test in the comment section:

Fengfeng diandian sen wrote,


North Korea is the only country which relies on other countries’ economic assistance to develop their nuclear weapons. It is also the only country which launched the test in the densely populated areas. China tested its nuclear in desolated region in Xinjiang and France did the same in a no man island. With all the precaution taken, the French nuclear pollution had affected nearby indigenous groups and the French government has been entangled in indemnification claims and protests. This time, North Korea tested the weapons along the borders of China and North Korea


Turning its neighbor's land into a battle field is a shameful act. China is the very few friends of North Korea in the international platform and aids it with large amount of oils and food each year. North Korea can only sustain its life with China’s assistance. But now the North Korean government is using other countries civilian assistance to threaten the donor’s security.

Another comment said,


The political gesture of North Korea was to gain American recognition. However, in order to do that, its politics has kidnapped China in term of our national security.


  • If China wants to send a message to North Korea, why don’t they repatriate escaping [North] Koreans to South Korea? Or at the very least why not treat them as refugees, rather than sending them back to North Korea for severe punishment.

  • Wing Lok

    The Chinese government seldom proposes any extreme foreign policies or actions to provoke its traditional friends. China is afraid of casuing any instability by its actions in the international platform. This might possibly explain why China opts to send back North Koreans to their own nation, though the action may contradict with its intention.

  • Agree with Wing Lok, China won’t take any drastic actions and would rather let its displeasure known by subtle actions such as cancellation of visits by official, some more hassles at the border for North Korean etc.

    Nice post Wing Lok.

  • rwg

    i’m a chinese who dislike the evil country,the best way to permenantly solve the problem is to dismiss the rotter country’s gorvenment who treat its citizen mercilessly and cheat on the international community especially its contributor china over and over.

    • pug_ster

      It certainly sounds easy to cut off aid to North Korea. But there are several problems, 1) There will be millions of North Koreans who will stream to China and South Korean borders. 2) China will have a more US friendly ally in a United Korea in their backyard. 3) North Korea will probably be so pissed off that they are being backstabbed that one of the nukes might come in one of China’s border city or even worse in Beijing if NK can manage to put one of those nukes in a rocket. 4) You think that China spends tens of millions of yuan on economic aid to NK might be bad, but China spends next to nothing in that area on border guards to North Korea. If China cuts off aid, then China has to start spending money on border guards.

      Considering that China paying for economic aid to NK is a small price to pay for stability in that region. But if China truly wants long term stability in that region, I think China has to push for a peace treaty between 2 Korean countries and the US to end the 60 years old Korean war that has torn the country apart as the US does have significant interest there with the 31,000 troops stationed in the DMZ.

  • omnifoo

    The challenge, in this unusual case of outraged agreement, is to coordinate an international response/agree on what actions should be taken. It is an under-acknowledged point that China’s nondiscriminatory and even allied relations with nasty/rogue regimes gives them special leverage to get them to do what’s right. This would seem like a tailor-made case to use some of it, even at the cost of losing some neighborly friendship, credibility for “non-interference in internal affairs”, and non-discriminatory relations. The non-transparency of both the PRC and DPRK must make their bilateral relations among the most uncertain (on what basis are they nominal allies: “win-win”?, mutual respect?, solidarity?, opposition to the West?, self-interest in preventing massive refugee inflow?, etc. etc.?). Also allows for all our speculation, in which wild claims which would normally be dismissed must be considered.

  • tres

    Unlike Iran, which poses no threat to the international community, North Korea is a direct threat to all its neighbors, including the American servicemen in South Korea and Japan. The U.S. government should work with the Chinese to come up with a solution so that a permanent disarmament of North Korea could be achieved.

    • In the lastest military conference in Singapore, U.S Defense Secretary Robert Gates mentioned that he believes there will be a real shift that reflects new thinking in the US approach to Asia and he voiced down the “Chinese threat” criticisms during the Bush administration in the conference. I personally believe that the Obama administration is trying to work with China on the North Korean issue and the Chinese government is willing to do as it fits its national interests. But what will be the North Korea next step is out of my prediction and imagination.

  • North Korea is like that leftover firecracker with the short fuse that nobody wants to pick up. The US and UN should never wait for China to initiate any action; just do whatever needs to be done and let the Chinese government bark like a stray dog.

  • Harry

    whether it was only a passing idle threat or, if Hawaii, Alaska or Southren California is
    no longer on the map, this situation will never be over from this day and time on. North
    Korea has nuclear weapons, it is only a matter of time before Iran has them, if they don’t
    already. And as each year goes by, it seems that more countries are attempting to
    develope their own nuclear weapons…including those countries who sponsor terrorist
    organizations. It’s becoming very clear, to anyone who is willing to see things as they
    are, that this world we live in gets more dangerous as time goes on. If you really want to
    be honest with yourself, consider in your own mind, do you suppose it is only a matter
    of time before a nuclear war breaks loose on this planet? I wouldn’t want to be a
    nonbeliever when it happens. Earlier this year, I made a sincere decission to call upon
    the Lord for forgiviness of the sins in my life, and repented from sin for the remission of
    sins. (No one in this life will ever be perfect…you still try) I’m now 55 years old, and for
    years I fooled myself with the notion that everything will work out fine as it was. If you
    have never became a christian, YOU ARE PLAYING THE FOOL, AS I WAS FOR THE
    ever considered whether you will have advanced warning if your hometown became the
    target for an approaching nuclear missile. Most likely not. Do you think your government
    is willing to panic it’s people who they cannot save anyway? Television shows will
    not be interupted by “special news bulletins”. The Emergancy Broadcast System will
    not air on radio. You’ll hear no air raid sirens. No hysterical people in the streets. There
    will be no mass of people killing and running over each other in a mad rush to get away
    from town as far and as fast as they possibly can. And no one who is not already a
    christian will be making last minute decissions to call upon the Lord…No one will know
    what’s coming. When the initial nuclear flash hits, this life is over in a billointh of a
    second. Those who are not saved will suddenly be in Hell, wondering what happened
    and how they got there so quickly, while the thurmosphere explosion is still scortching
    away the ground where their hometown was only seconds before. If you go to Hell lost,
    and someday stand before God in judgement before you and the rest of Hell are cast
    into the Lake of Fire for eternity, you will remember each time someone spoke to you
    about your spiritual condition…including what you’ve just read.
    Some people believe the Lake of Fire is the molten core of the Earth. Would you bet
    your soul it’s not?

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