China's attitude to the problems on the Korean Peninsula was on display Nov. 27 when its top diplomat, State Councilor Dai Bingguo, visited South Korea for talks. China, according to South Korean officials, notified South Korea 15 minutes before Dai's departure that he was headed for Seoul and that he wanted to land at a South Korean air force base that is normally reserved for heads of state. China also informed South Korea that it wanted President Lee Myung-bak's schedule cleared for an immediate meeting with Dai. The South did not agree and Dai met Lee the next day.
During that meeting, Dai essentially gave Lee "a history lesson on the relations between Beijing and Seoul" and did not mention the North Korean attack on Yeonpyeong, said a South Korean official. "He just told us to calm down," the official said. Then at the end of the meeting, as the two were readying to shake hands, Dai, off the cuff, told Lee that China wanted to call an emergency meeting of the six-party talks, grouping the United States, Japan, South Korea, Russia, China and North Korea, to help lower the heat on the peninsula. Lee told Dai that - given North Korea's actions, a meeting would be tantamount to rewarding North Korean bad behavior. But Dai ignored Lee's rejection and when Dai returned to Beijing, China's chief North Korean negotiator, Wu Dawei, announced what it framed as a bold Chinese initiative: more talks.
"The South Koreans were really ticked off," said Daniel Sneider, an expert on Asian security at the Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center at Stanford University who was in Seoul last week. "The whole way it was handled smacked of a certain kind of arrogance . . . and signaled that the Chinese weren't serious about reining in the North Koreans."
Monday, December 06, 2010
The last few paragraphs of this Washington Post article are the most telling: