A Purported Leaked Chinese Strategy Document Asks Some Very Provocative Questions
U.S. President Donald Trump shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping after a joint press conference at the Great Hall of the People, Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017, in Beijing. Trump is on a five-country trip through Asia traveling to Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
Today, the Free Beacon reported on a strategy document purported to be written by someone in the government of Communist China about their plans for dealing with the North Korea problem. The provenance of the document is uncertain but for the past year, the front pages of the New York Times and Washington Post, as well as the broadcasts of CNN, have been driven by anonymous leaks of documents that may or may not be bullsh**. (Here is a link to the translated document.)
The Top Line
China’s Communist Party adopted a secret plan in September to bolster the North Korean government with increased aid and military support, including new missiles, if Pyongyang halts further nuclear tests, according to an internal party document.
The document, labeled “top secret” and dated Sept. 15—12 days after North Korea’s latest underground nuclear blast—outlines China’s plan for dealing with the North Korean nuclear issue. It states China will allow North Korea to keep its current arsenal of nuclear weapons, contrary to Beijing’s public stance that it seeks a denuclearized Korean peninsula.
Chinese leaders also agreed to offer new assurances that the North Korean government will not be allowed to collapse, and that Beijing plans to apply sanctions “symbolically” to avoid punishing the regime of leader Kim Jong Un under a recent U.N. resolution requiring a halt to oil and gas shipments into North Korea.
China’s leaders, according to the document, concluded that international pressure will not force North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons, estimated to be at least 20 warheads.
Twenty is well within the range of what US intelligence agencies have estimated. Is this confirmation? Or is someone feeding what we’ve said back to us?
On the U.N. requirement to shut down oil and gas transfers from China to North Korea, the party document said after North Korean businesses in China will be closed under the terms of the latest U.N. resolution, “our country will not for the moment restrict Korea from entrusting qualified Chinese agencies from trade with Korea or conducting related trade activities via third countries (region).”
A directive ordered the Liaison Department to offer a promised increase in aid for “daily life and infrastructure building” and a one-time increase in funds for North Korea of 15 percent for 2018. Chinese aid will be then be increased annually from 2019 through 2023 by “no less than 10 percent over the previous year.”
The Chinese also promised the North Koreans that in response to calls to suspend all banking business with North Korea that the financial ban will “only apply to state-owned banks controlled by the central government and some regional banks.”
This comports with what we see. The two ships impounded by the ROK for smuggling oil to the DPRK were owned by Chinese companies. The banks that are being sanctioned are private banks.
On military support, the document reveals that China is offering North Korean “defensive military construction” and “high level military science and technology.”
The weaponry will include “more advanced mid- and short-range ballistic missiles, cluster munitions, etc.,” the document said.
This is new. China hasn’t, at least in any open source reporting, been accused of sending SRBM and IRBM to North Korea.
The document then directs the Liaison Department to warn that if North Korea insists on acting rashly, further punitive measures will be imposed on senior North Korean leaders and their family members.
The directive lists “requirements” for the Liaison Department to pursue, including informing the North Koreans of China’s “determination to protect the Korean government on behalf of the Central Committee of CPC.”
Liaison officials also were tasked with informing the North Koreans of promises of support and aid in exchange for Pyongyang making “substantial compromises on its nuclear issues.”
This brings me to what Chinese twitter thinks of the document.
The last couple of tweets were the most interesting. The Chinese separating the survival of the DPRK from the survival of the Kim regime. And the Chinese referring to North Korea positively and the Kim regime negatively.
As I’ve posted several times, it is pretty obvious China is not of one mind on what to do with North Korea. There are open academic debates on whether the best move is to dropkick Kim and his clan and start afresh or whether to protect Kim as a distraction for the United States as China tightens its grip on the South China Sea. A leak of this document by a party opposed to the strategy would not be unheard of. Neither would the government planting a false document to distract us.
Again, we don’t know what to make of this but it seems plausible enough that we should be looking at Chinese actions to see if they comport with this strategy document.