The United Nations has unanimously approved new sanctions on North Korea with a 15-0 vote. The North’s allies, China and Russia, agreed on the new sanctions with reduced measures. But following that, China will need to make a crucial move.

China’s balancing act over Kim Jong-un’s regime

The ability of China to act as a buffer state is once again being tested and may be put on the line following President Xi Jinping’s approval of the new UN sanctions on North Korea. What China did may have appeased the United States Government, but it may also engender displeasure from its ally, the North.

China agreed on the fresh sanctions after the United Nations reduced certain measures. Approving the new sanctions after they were modified was a gesture by President Xi Jinping to tell the North’s leader that the Chinese government will never allow his regime to fall. However, China remains skeptical whether Kim Jong-un will finally surrender his weapons and stop his nuclear programs after being harshly sanctioned by the international community, the BBC reported.

China wants the United States government to start dialogue with North Korea. President Xi Jinping wants Kim Jong-un to put an end to his nuclear weapons programs and completely stop the regime’s destructive missile tests. Unfortunately, neither of the countries is paying attention to China.

Neither side seems keen to stop their military rhetoric and Now the stakes are extremely high.

A policy tightrope for China

It was expected that China would empathize with the insecurity of Kim Jong-un’s regime. For several years China was suspicious of the United States government and its plans for containment as well as possible regime change that could have removed the Chinese Communist Party.

Now the Chinese government seeks dialogue for the opposing states. President Xi Jinping wants the United States to take the first steps in talking to North Korea. The Chinese president thinks that the move would be the first essential step to building trust between the North and the U.S.

China’s decision to approve the new UN sanctions on North Korea is its method of telling Kim Jong-un to stop its hasty pursuit of nuclear weapons and missile programs.

It was also seen as the best way to shun accusations and suspicions of collusion by the U.S. government against China.

However, President Xi Jinping believes that the latest sanctions on North Korea will never serve as the best route to greater security on the Korean peninsula. As China cautiously inches back and forth along the policy tightrope, the geopolitical landscape beneath is changing significantly.