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China Doesn’t Want North Korea Tension to Rise, Researcher Says

Yang Xiyu, a researcher at the China Institute of International Studies, a think tank under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, comments on China’s stance after North Korea attacked South Korea’s Yeonpyeong island yesterday.

On China’s lack of condemnation:

“First of all, China hasn’t got sufficient information on the ins and outs of the whole incident. China can’t announce its stance just by listening to one side of the story.”

“But of course, China doesn’t want to see the current situation or any escalation of the conflict. It is in China’s interest to see a peaceful and stable situation on the Korean peninsula, and what has just happened is contrary to that objective.”

On China’s foreign policy logic:

“China’s logic is to let everyone calm down first and prevent further conflicts, and then to discuss other complicated matters such as disputed borders or the incidents that just took place.”

“China thinks the most important and urgent target right now is to make sure there won’t be any escalation of the conflict, rather than finding out who’s responsible or heeding the U.S. call to make North Korea pay a price.”

“No one can rule out the possibility that tension will persist. All of the measures right now should be focused on how to better calm down and restrain further conflicts.”

“China would want to separate what has just happened from historical border disputes and all the entangled issues. It’s about making sure yesterday’s conflict doesn’t trigger another series of issues.”

On China’s future policy toward North Korea:

“The overall policy toward North Korea won’t be changed, but the policies China adopts in terms of dialogue will be altered somewhat.”

“China will express its concern on yesterday’s clash and the frequent incidents that take place on the Yellow Sea. China would want North Korea to solve problems using peaceful measures.”

“We will also call for restraints from all sides and the use of dialogue to solve problems. These will be mentioned in contacts with North Korea.”

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