china has put its military on high alert and the United States has observed increased activity around the fleet of Chinese military aircraft. These include bombers capable of carrying cruise-missiles and these are being made battle-ready so that they can participate in any action at short notice should North Korea would be involved.

The Chinese strategy

According to CNN, the activities that China has undertaken in respect to its military inventory is to keep them in readiness so that they can intervene at short notice in case of any contingency. Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Lu Kang has admitted that he was aware of reports about a heightened alert in the Chinese Air Force, but did not elaborate.

The situation in the Korean peninsula is volatile and Pyongyang added fuel to fire when their state media warned the US that if it carries out a pre-emptive strike, it would destroy the US as well as South Korea.

The worries for Beijing are the after effects of the collapse of the Pyongyang regime. If and when that happens, China would be faced with an influx of refugees from North Korea. Moreover, the collapse could set the stage for a reunification with the South Korean government which is an ally of the United States.

China can play a leading role

The economy of North Korea depends on the largesse of its ally China. As per estimates nearly 85 percent of its economic trade is from its ally who can use this as a lever to make North Korea see reason and work out a solution.

The strategy of the United States is to convince China to take an active part and ensure that its ally shelves its nuclear ambitions. China can play a crucial role to find a political solution to the problem. Analyzing the earlier failed negotiating efforts it is presumed that China has never really exerted enough leverage.

Of course, recent comments by Lu Kang, a spokesman of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, who spoke highly of Washington’s approach was a good sign. But the US administration feels that these are early times and the strategy must be worked out in such a way that it brings in the results.

Incidentally, the April summit meeting in Florida between US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping paved the way to a better understanding of the problems.

Observers interpret this change in perception of Beijing as a positive sign and hope that a solution is found to ease the tension in the Korean peninsula. All concerned must realize that confrontation will not help matters.