Communist factional infighting influenced Beijing’s stance on nuclear threat
Date: April 20, 2017
By: Leo Timm
Within China, entrenched political rivals of leader Xi Jinping share common ground with North Korea’s totalitarian Kim regime, and appear to have been leveraging the threat of nuclear weapons even at the expense of Chinese national security.
For years, leaders affiliated with former Communist Party boss Jiang Zemin had a stake in maintaining North Korea’s nuclear threat as a distraction from their own human rights abuses, as well as to tie the hands of their political rivals, according to an expert in Chinese affairs.
Today, Pyongyang’s nuclear brinksmanship has made headlines, and stirred U.S. and Chinese leaders into a surprising degree of collaboration when Xi and Trump met in Florida to discuss the crisis. But such discussions must take into account the previous ties between China and North Korea, fostered by former leader Jiang.
At 90, Jiang is more a symbol for corruption and human rights abuses than he is a participant in the nation’s contemporary governance. [FULL STORY]