See all those languages up there? We translate Global Voices stories to make the world's citizen media available to everyone.

Learn more about Lingua Translation  »

Chinese Netizens Want Their Government to Take a Hard Line on North Korea's Nuclear Testing

China and North Korea border. Photo from VOA Chinese.

China and North Korea border. Photo from VOA Chinese.

North Korea announced on January 6, 2016, that it had carried out the country's first hydrogen bomb test. Though experts doubted if the explosion was really caused by H-bomb, China's earthquake administration detected a 4.9 magnitude tremor along North Korea and China's border, and news wires from both Japan and South Korea said the quakes were caused by the test.

Instead of condemning the nuclear test, Beijing took a more moderate stance, saying it “firmly opposes” the test and urged North Korea to “remain committed to its denuclearisation commitment”.

On the other hand, Chinese netizens grew more and more impatient with the government's tolerance of their “insane” neighbor. It wasn't only polarizing US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump who said China is the one who should deal with North Korea. On Chinese Twitter-like Weibo, many voiced their criticism of the government's diplomatic policy in a news thread discussing North Korea's H-bomb test.

Below are a selection of popular comments that have received more than 1,000 likes:

氢弹!难道该担心的不是我们吗,这么危险的武器掌握在一个如此危险的国家掌握在一个独裁者手上!大家真觉得很好笑吗!?

H-bomb! Shouldn't we be the one to worry about? Such a dangerous weapon is under the control of the dictator of such a dangerous country? Do you think this is a joke?!

邻居是个疯子,还是一个手握武器的疯子

Our neighbor is a nut, a nut with weapon.

天朝负一大半责任!!!

The heavenly kingdom [of China] should bear half of the responsibility!!!

其实中国应该介入制裁它了,朝鲜就是流氓国家,说不定哪天这氢弹就放在中国院内

China should sanction it. North Korea is a thug, someday it will bring a H-bomb to China's courtyard.

天朝居然还在包庇一个流氓国家,真应该感到羞愧天朝居然还在包庇一个流氓国家,真应该感到羞愧

The heavenly kingdom is still protecting this thug. We should be ashamed that the heavenly kingdom is still protecting this thug, we should be ashamed.

呵呵 没有地图西边这位哥支持能养出来这么个玩意儿? 到时候氢弹往哪里胡还指不定呢。美国养个is,脱缰了。你中国再养个朝鲜,到时候 呵呵

Ha! Without the support of its brother located to the west on the map, how can [North Korea] gets a hold of this new toy? We can't be sure what direction the H-bomb is pointing. The US fed the ISIS, now it has gone wild. You, China, are now feeding North Korea. When the time comes…

那么多饲料,养了一个祸害!辐射到东北了吧

Spent so much feeding a disaster! Radiation can travel to Dongbei [China's northeastern region], right?

The frustration of Chinese netizens was explained in commentary by Chang Ping, who stressed that China is the major victim of North Korea nuclear tests:

谁是它一系列核试验的直接受害者?答案不言而喻:中国,甚至只有中国。世界上没有任何国家像朝鲜这样,尚在武器试验阶段就对他国造成实际损伤。[…]
朝鲜核试验最有可能对韩国和日本造成直接伤害的部分是核辐射。对此,中国外交部帮助朝鲜撇清说,到目前为止,试验没有对环境及公共卫生造成影响。倘若真是如此,日韩两国也是在为未来担忧。中国东北边境的民众的感受却并非如此。据中国央视报道,位于中朝边界的延吉、珲春、长白县等地均有明显震感。延吉市民家中桌椅摇晃,有单位对室内人员进行了疏散。一高中操场地面出现裂纹,紧急疏散学生,考试中断。可以肯定的是,弹丸之地的朝鲜若进行更大杀伤力的核试验,中国很有可能出现人员伤亡。另有报道指出,朝鲜多次进行核试验对中朝边境土壤和地下水的污染,并不像中国外交部说的那样轻松。[…]
长期的政治宣传,让很多中国人以为,朝鲜是中国的手足兄弟,是反对美国霸权的亲密战友。事实上,历史告诉我们,往往等不到外御其侮,兄弟就会先阋于墙。中国和苏联之间曾经差点爆发核战争,和越南之间则发生了惨烈的”自卫还击战”。在未来,朝鲜和中国之间发生冲突的可能性,远远大过它和美国兵戎相见。

Who is the victim of [North Korea's] series of nuclear tests? The answer is clear: China and only China. There is no other country in this world like North Korea which has brought damage to others during nuclear weapon tests. […]

The potential damage done to South Korea and Japan in the nuclear tests is nuclear radiation. But the Chinese foreign ministry has helped North Korea by announcing that the tests thus far have not done any harm to the environment or public health. Which means the threat to Japan and South Korea is still in the future tense. But that's not the case for people living in the northeast region of China. According to China Central Television's report, earthquakes occurred along the border of China and North Korea including in Yanji, Hunchun and Changbai provinces. For those living in Yanji, they felt their furniture shaking and some offices evacuated their employees. Cracks appeared in the playground of a high school and students were evacuated. Their exams were interrupted. If North Korea continues to test its nuclear weaponry, more catastrophes could occur in China. Some reports said that the series of tests polluted the soil and ground water along the border. [The public sentiment is] not as calm as the Chinese foreign minister's response.

Propaganda has made many Chinese believe that North Korea is China's brother and comrade in fighting against the US hegemony. But history tells us that humiliation usually comes from within. The brothers end up fighting against each other. China and the USSR were on the verge of entering nuclear war; China and Vietnam had the most bloody war. In the future, the chances of a China-North Korea war is higher than China-US.

Chinese economist Han Zhiguo posted on Weibo a map of the H-bomb test site in North Korea to indicate the impact of the North Korean nuclear crisis on China and commented:

Map showing the H-bomb test site in North Korea. It is much closer to China than any other country. Image from Han's Weibo.

Map showing the H-bomb test site in North Korea. It is much closer to China than any other country. Image from Han's Weibo.

【 对朝鲜不能养痈遗患 】 朝鲜在中国东北附近进行核试验可谓一石双鸟:既震慑美日韩又直接给中国好看。对朝核问题,中国一直忍让规劝,没有与国际社会一道进行制裁,其结果就是养痈遗患:朝鲜不但有了原子弹,而且还有了氢弹。美日韩都有美国反导系统保护,中国东北如何才能避免核污染和核事故灾难?

Should not breed a virus to do harm concerning North Korea: North Korea is hitting two birds with its one nuclear test: threatening the US, Japan and South Korea, and showing off to China. China has been dealing with the issue with tolerance rather than joining the international communities to sanction the country. The consequence is breeding a virus: North Korea has a nuclear H-bomb. While the US, Japan and South Korea are equipped with anti-missile weapons, how can the northeastern region of China protect itself from nuclear pollution and disaster?

Receive great stories from around the world directly in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the best of Global Voices
Email Frequency



No thanks, show me the site