China seemed ambivalent when it comes to the missile crisis over the Korean peninsula. According to CBC News, although China urged the United States and North Korea for a peaceful resolution, its real objectives remained concealed.

On one hand, the Chinese government appeared concerned with the balance of power over the Korean peninsula. President Xi Jinping expressed his country’s stand against the nuclear weapons programs of North Korea. However, president Xi Jinping did not want to destabilize Kim Jong-un’s regime. Also, he did not prefer unification on the Korean peninsula.

On the other hand, the events over the Korean region may also directly affect China’s ties with the United States, Business Insider reported. Nevertheless, China and America’s economic ties may be defined by mistrust and fear from the former’s perspective.

The bargaining chip of China

North Korea apparently became a part of China’s Bargaining Chip with the US government. But China needed to proceed with the highest precaution. It needed to appear that it had control over Kim Jong-un’s regime. This was necessary for diverting the White House from the North’s provocations and in redefining the economic relationship between China and the United States. On the contrary, the Chinese government could not exaggerate its influence on Kim’s regime such that the United States government could hold it liable for any failure in denuclearizing the Korean peninsula.

As a matter of fact, President Xi Jinping had little influence over the rogue nation and its leader’s moves. However, China’s president did not actually need absolute control over Kim’s regime. All President Xi Jinping needed was for North Korea and China to share the same interest in limiting the United States power in Asia.

Apparently, that interest has continued hitherto.

A stealthy demarche

Unlike Kim’s regime that pursued nuclear weapons programs to set up a nuclear deterrent against the US, China did not actually need to do the same. China’s nuclear weapons are more powerful than North Korea. This allowed the Chinese government to be more practical in dealing with the US.

Although China showed willingness to cooperate with the American government, it has remained suspicious of its motives.

In turn, this became one limiting factor on the ability of the United States to attack Kim’s regime. North Korea created a mutual defense treaty with China. Above all, even though China would prefer the status quo over the Korean peninsula, but it would not essentially lose if America aimed to use military force in solving the North Korean crisis.