After warnings yesterday, and on the heels of a "very good call" with President Trump, China has escalated its threats to North Korea over its nuclear tests. In another Global Times op-ed, China warns "if the North makes another provocative move this month, the Chinese society will be willing to adopt severe restrictive measures that have never been seen before..."
Yesterday's editorial in the military-focused Global Times tabloid, owned and operated by the Communist Party's People's Daily newspaper, said that North Korea’s nuclear activities must not jeopardize northeastern China, and that if the North impacts China with its illicit nuclear tests through either "nuclear leakage or pollution", then China will respond with force.
“China has a bottom line that it will protect at all costs, that is, the security and stability of northeast China... If the bottom line is touched, China will employ all means available including the military means to strike back. By that time, it is not an issue of discussion whether China acquiesces in the US’ blows, but the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) will launch attacks to DPRK nuclear facilities on its own."
This, as the editorial puts it, is the "bottom line" for China; should it be crossed China will employ all means available including the military means to strike back," warned the editorial.
Overnight, Trump and Xi held a call, which Trump said went well...
Had a very good call last night with the President of China concerning the menace of North Korea.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 12, 2017
And today we see another Global Times editorial somewhat supporting US and increasing its threats to North Korea...
Washington's latest threat to Pyongyang is more credible given its just launched missile attack at an air base in Syria. The Korean Peninsula has never been so close to a military clash since the North conducted its first nuclear test in 2006.
If Pyongyang conducts its sixth nuclear test in the near future, the possibility of US military action against it will be higher than ever. Not only Washington brimming with confidence and arrogance following the missile attacks on Syria, but Trump is also willing to be regarded as a man who honors his promises.
Now the Trump team seems to have decided to solve the North Korean nuclear crisis. As the discussion runs deeper, a situation of no-solution will not be accepted.
A new nuclear test or an intercontinental ballistic missile test, if conducted by Pyongyang at this time, will be a slap in the face of the US government and will intensify the confrontation between North Korea and the US.
Presumably Beijing will react strongly to Pyongyang's new nuclear actions. China will not remain indifferent to Pyongyang's aggravating violation of the UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution.
More and more Chinese support the view that the government should enhance sanctions over Pyongyang's nuclear activities. If the North makes another provocative move this month, the Chinese society will be willing to see the UNSC adopt severe restrictive measures that have never been seen before, such as restricting oil imports to the North. Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program is intended for securing the regime, however, it is reaching a tipping point. Pyongyang hopes its gamble will work, but all signs point to the opposite direction.
The US is making up its mind to stop the North from conducting further nuclear tests, it doesn't plan to co-exist with a nuclear-armed Pyongyang.
As we concluded yesterday, after China's initial warning; the most notable part of the oped is the mention in the Global Times editorial that North Korea will not be "not allowed to have a government that is hostile against China on the other side of the Yalu River." This implies that if and when the US initiate strikes on NK, the Chinese PLA will likely send out troops "to lay the foundation" for a favorable post-war situation.
In other words, China may be just waiting for Trump to "decapitate" the North Korean regime, to pounce and immediately fill the power vacuum.