The recent batch of classified documents released by Wikileaks reportedly show that Chinese officials would support the reunification of the two Koreas and would not stop the disintegration of the North. From Al Jazeera:
The latest documents released by the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks on Tuesday detail conversations between US officials and Chinese diplomats, as well as a senior South Korean official’s discussion with his Chinese counterparts.
Cheng Guoping, the Chinese ambassador to Kazakhstan, was reported to have told Richard Hoagland, the US ambassador, that “China hopes for peaceful reunification in the long-term, but he expects the two countries to remain separate in the short-term”.
The remarks were made during a three-hour dinner in Astana, Kazakhstan’s capital, in June 2009, according to documents published on WikiLeaks website.
Guoping was quoted as telling Hoagland that China’s objectives in North Korea were to ensure they honour their commitments on non-proliferation, maintain stability, and “don’t drive [Kim Jong-il] mad”.
See all China-related cables that have been released so far via Wikileaks. For more on this story, see:
– “Cables show officials guessing on N. Korea” from the Boston Globe
– “Wikileaks reveals plans for North Korean collapse” from the Washington Post
– “Beijing’s Pyongyang fatigue” from the Foreign Policy blog
or, for a lighter take on the subject, Evan Osnos’ recent post, “China, as Rendered by Wikileaks.”
Update: A report in PC World says the Chinese government has blocked the Wikileaks site and is censoring news about the released cables. Nevertheless, a search report on Baidu, China’s biggest search engine, shows a sharp increase in searches for the Chinese name of Wikileaks the day the cables were released. Meanwhile, in Forbes Gady Epstein remembers an interview with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange in which he cautions against Chinese activists starting up their own copycat site. At the same time, Thomas Friedman imagines what leaked cables from the Chinese Embassy in Washington would say.
Also, a commentary in the Guardian argues that, “China’s break with North Korea is overblown.”
In the Telegraph, Richard Spencer explains why China hasn’t abandoned North Korea.
And, last but not least, watch Taiwan’s Next Media’s animated report on the Wikileaks release: