In other good news, China is massing troops and having air and naval craft patrol their border with North Korea. One Chinese restaurant owner (one wonders whats on the menu there) in a nearby border town expressed amazement over the sheer number of men.
Bad sign? Not necessarily. The Obama administration has been taking these Korean developments pretty seriously, and the Czar thinks they have the right read on it. Additionally, the Obama administration is not going berserk over these Chinese military movementsand frankly, the Czar isnt either. Heres why.
First, China has an active co-defense treaty with North Korea. If the North is invadednote invaded, not engagedthen China is required to provide military assistance. If North Korea were to fire the first shot, on the other hand, China may be able to skate out of any real assistance whatsoever. Rumor has it that North Korea has already notified China that they expect her to uphold her end of the deal. Hence, air force and naval displays near the border.
Second, Chinas single biggest concern with North Korea will not be working in tandem with the Norks to defend the peninsulait will be the mass exodus of refugees from the Korean peninsula heading for the relative safety of China. This is already a massive problem for China, as hundreds (if not actually thousands) of North Koreans sneak into Chinese territory and utilize Chinese services. Yes, the North Koreans understand they would be sent right back, but the first few days they scrounge around in China dodging police are better than what they face in North Korea. Its disturbing that China has a major national illegal alien problem that might actually be in the hundreds, whereas America has a problem with undocumented folks in the millions that we cant take seriously, but anyway.
The point is that the large-scale infantry setup along the border is solely for to prevent the flood of North Koreans coming into China in the event of war. China knows full well that that American hardware would mow down their infantry within days: if China intended to use their military against the United States, they would use technology, not standing bipedal targets. China would only pit her infantry against inferior threatslike any smart armyand that means North Koreans, not well-armed drones.
So that explains the air force and navy as well as the infantry. But reallyhow do we know China doesnt have anti-American designs?
Look at the money. Who is Chinas best customer?
The United States buys more Chinese hardware than anyone else: in all likelihood, Americans buy more Chinese products than Chinese do. It is possible that in many industries, Americans buy more goods than all other countries combined. The last thing you want to do to your best customer is try to kill him.
Additionally, you know perfectly well that the Chinese are viewing America as a major investment opportunity. We have borrowed so much money from China that, even with our diminished debt rating, they would be fools to piss us off. Imagine what would happen to Chinas economy if Americans stopped purchasing products and stopped leveraging? China would plunge from the second largest economic powerhouse into something ranked below Bolivia. Simply put, America sustains China: you can chart this relationship all the way back to about 1980, when the Chinese opened a few markets up to American investment, to see how China progressed economically.
War with America? Sorry, North Koreayou would be screwed bad.
So what are Chinas expectations? If America attacked North Korea, there would be howls of hollow protests from China. The Chinese infantry would advance southward and provide humanitarian relief to the North Koreansallegedly they are already providing food and medicine to the North as a way of testing logistic chains. But the intent of the military moving South is not to repel American running dog imperialist bastards, but to push back millions of fleeing North Koreans hoping for a better life as a homeless beggar in China than a loyal subject in North Korea.
By putting up a wall of Chinese humanitarian obstacles in the North, the refugees would be inclined to flee Southwhich the South is better prepared for and already expecting to handle. That problem is solved.
Meanwhile, as the Chinese warn of serious consequences and negative reprisals, they will absolutely refuse to engage Americans. In fact, we wouldnt be surprised to see some studious avoidance to ensure that Americans and Chinese do not interact. The Chinese are actually pretty good at faking this stuff.
Meanwhile, as the Chinese move into North Korea, they will immediately begin setting up a huge presence in Pyongyang, Chongjin, and the Western Seaboard: after all, when the Americans eliminate the Kim regimelikely within daysChina wants to be all situated to start rebuilding the country and funneling American money back home to China. You get Americans to do your dirty work for you, and you reap all the profits while keeping the North Koreans out of your social services.
Win-win for China. The risk? Well, obviously, the short-term risk is that America will shoot up some of your guys. But that can be managed through prevention; possibly these talks are already underway. Hey, just dont shoot at us, mkay?
The long-term risk is that America will get the lions share of the profits, working in close partnership with South Korea and Japan. South Koreas economy will stagger under the war and reabsorption of the North, but if the Chinese do it right, they can wind up more sympathetic to China than to America. Hey, whos your big pal up here, South Korea? Thats rightChina. The next bigger competitor will be Japan, who remains useless to China and a constant annoyance economically.
The real plus for China would be if America was soft on China and hurting economically, and too tired of wars and rebuilding in Iraq and Afghanistan, and too tied up in domestic nonsense to focus on a real North Korean rebuilding.
Which, by the way, is right now under President Obama. The long-term risk has never looked better for China: they can step in, rebuild North Korea with little American competition, and reap the financial windfall the way America did rebuilding Japan in 1945.
Come to think of it, an American-North Korean war would be a major score for China.
Божію Поспѣшествующею Милостію Мы, Дима Грозный Императоръ и Самодержецъ Всероссiйскiй, цѣсарь Московскiй. The Czar was born in the steppes of Russia in 1267, and was cheated out of total control of all Russia upon the death of Boris Mikhailovich, who replaced Alexander Yaroslav Nevsky in 1263. However, in 1283, our Czar was passed over due to a clerical error and the rule of all Russia went to his second cousin Daniil (Даниил Александрович), whom Czar still resents. As a half-hearted apology, the Czar was awarded control over Muscovy, inconveniently located 5,000 miles away just outside Chicago. He now spends his time seething about this and writing about other stuff that bothers him.