china has been a close ally of North Korea for ages because they fought together in the Korean War. But, Kim Jong-Un continues to take actions that embarrass China who is desperately trying to shed its earlier image. Beijing has realized that a new strategy is necessary to put a leash on Pyongyang and Washington could help.

With this in mind, State Councillor Yang Jiechi, a senior Chinese diplomat who specializes in foreign policy, will meet the Trump administration to lay the groundwork for a dialogue with North Korea. The invitation went from the United States government which means that America also feels its importance.

What has prompted such action?

One of the irritants is the unpredictable nature of North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un who treats nuclear weapons as child’s play. He threatens the world, especially America, with long range missiles. When Donald Trump met Japan’s leader Shinzo Abe after getting elected as the President of America, Kim chose the opportunity to make a point by launching a new type of missile.

Then came the assassination of Kim’s brother which is suspected to be the handiwork of the regime.

The world perceives China as being the only real ally and economic benefactor of North Korea. It generates revenue by exporting coal and, in order to rope it in, China has banned import of this product for the remaining part of the year knowing that it is a symbolic ban.

It, therefore, wants America to strengthen its hand and join the battle against Kim Jong Un.

The American reaction

During his Presidential campaign, Donald Trump indicated that he would talk to the North Korean leader. Later, informal talks had been scheduled but, that has since been canceled. The Trump administration revoked the visa of the North Koreans at the last-minute after the Malaysian government announced that nerve gas had been used to kill Kim Jong Un’s brother.

This gas is a weapon of mass destruction as classified by the United Nations.

The problem for China is how to coax North Korea to the table for constructive discussion. Beijing knows that Washington would want it to be on its terms. In case it results in toppling the Kim regime, it could result in a refugee crisis which would not be in the interest of Beijing.