China takes a bow – Jing-dong Yuan
With the fourth round of six-party talks finally under way in Beijing after 13 months of hiatus, commentators are attributing their resumption to the intensive diplomatic maneuvering in the past few weeks in which Washington recognized North Korea as a sovereign country, Seoul offered supplies of electricity to the North should nuclear disarmament work out, and even Pyongyang showed some signs of flexibility.
Yet China deserves credit for the resumption of the talks to end the nuclear stalemate on the Korean peninsula.
In particular, Beijing should be praised for its persevering and calm diplomacy during a period of uncertainty and difficulties; its counsel for political and diplomatic solutions to the nuclear issue; its behind-the-door efforts at persuading Pyongyang to return to the talks; its resistance to the threat of sanctions should the talks fail as these would not guarantee success, and could be highly counterproductive.
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