President Donald Trump has maintained an ambiguous relationship with China, often blaming the latter for not doing enough to keep North Korea’s nuclear weapons program in check.
Whether the Asian giant has done enough, in Trump’s estimation, to contain Pyongyang’s nuclear ambition or not, former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon believes that China’s role in preventing North Korea leader Kim Jong Un from starting a nuclear war would be indispensable.
In an interview with Bloomberg, Ban said: “I met the Chinese President Xi Jinping last month as a part of a former President and former heads of State of Government. He also assured me that the Chinese Government would be faithfully implementing the reverent Security Council resolutions over North Korea sanctions.”
“As a neighboring country who is taking an overwhelming share of North Korea’s external trade,” he added. “China can still be the only country who can play a decisive and overwhelming role, so we really count on the Chinese continuing engagement.”
After Trump expressed his disappointment over the Chinese government not getting involved enough to back North Korea into a corner, there were fears that in the event of Pyongyang declaring war on the U.S., China would choose to side with its Asian neighbor.
China also condemned the joint military drills conducted by the U.S. and South Korea in the Korean peninsula recently. North Korea saw the drills as a provocation and said that engaging in war was an “established fact.”
“All relevant parties should do is still to completely, precisely and fully implement the relevant UN Security Council resolutions toward North Korea, and do more for regional peace and stability and to get all parties back to the negotiating table,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said, Express reported. “Not the opposite, mutual provocation.”
The U.S. ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, on the other hand, has iterated Trump’s words, stating that China needs to do more if it wants to get North Korea to the negotiating table.
“We’re putting as much pressure on them as we can,” she said. “The last time they completely cut off the oil, North Korea came to the table. And so we’ve told China they’ve got to do more.”
In other news, China is building a network of refugee camps along the side of the border which it shares with North Korea, in an effort to prepare for mass migration if a war were to break out between North Korea and the U.S.
Report of the refugee camps first emerged earlier this week on local Chinese websites when a mobile document, revealing the plan of action of such a project, was circulated on social media.
According to the Guardian, the document read, “Due to cross-border tensions … the [Communist] party committee and government of Changbai county has proposed setting up five refugee camps in the county.”
Lu, however, has denied the existence of such a document, stating that no such refugee camps were being built.