China will attempt to prevent any attempt at aggressive “regime change” in North Korea, and should remain neutral if North Korea threatens the United States with an attack first, an editorial in the Global Times, a Communist Party of China affiliated paper said.
“Beijing is not able to persuade Washington or Pyongyang to back down at this time. It needs to make clear its stance to all sides and make them understand that when their actions jeopardize China's interests, China will respond with a firm hand,” the editorial said.
“China should also make clear that if North Korea launches missiles that threaten U.S. soil first and the U.S. retaliates, China will stay neutral. If the U.S. and South Korea carry out strikes and try to overthrow the North Korean regime and change the political pattern of the Korean Peninsula, China will prevent them from doing so,” it continued.
China has repeatedly taken the stance of urging for dialogue and calm as tension and threats continue to rise between the United States and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, or North Korea as it is commonly known as.
Their stance has however at times been complicated and affected by the tense international pressures around the issue.The U.S. has repeatedly applied heavy pressure against China to take diplomatic action against North Korea, with which they maintain close economic relations. China recently agreed to give their signature to sanctions against Pyongyang in the United Nations Security Council, although the sanctions did not restrict existing trade relations between Beijing and Pyongyang.
U.S. President Donald Trump recently threatened Pyongyang with “fire and fury like the world has never seen.” The U.S. also has just finished plans for a first-strike on the Korean Peninsula, should the president decide to order one. Six B-B heavy bombers are currently stationed on the U.S. occupied island Guam, from which they have already operated 11 drills in conjunction with South Korea and Japan.
In addition to bombing drills, U.S. and South Korean troops will also participate in the annual “Ulchi Freedom Guardian” drill, in which 30,000 U.S. troops will participate.
U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis said that North Korea was risking the “destruction of its people,” echoing for many the last conflict between the two countries, known in the U.S. as the Korean War, when a massive U.S. bombing campaign resulted in the death of nearly a third of North Korea's population.
Pyongyang leadership meanwhile, has threatened to launch a missile into waters near Guam.
Speaking from his private golf club in New Jersey, Trump said that if “he [Kim Jong Un] does something in Guam, it will be an event the likes of which nobody's seen before, what will happen in North Korea.” He did not offer specifics on what such an “event” would entail.
The widely-read Global Times does not officially represent Chinese Government policy, however it is an affiliate project of the People's Daily, which is an official paper of the Communist Party of China.