I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t know my butt from my elbow with regard to foreign policy. I’m not well-read about it, I don’t sit and argue about it, and I think what we’re fed is almost always 99% bs.
But the behavior of the North Koreans lately has been intriguing me. After quiet stretch, they’re up to their bad behavior again, which means that that they’re really low on rice and need a shipment, or maybe something else.
As North Korea borders China, and China could squish them like a bug if it will help China politically in the world, why won’t China squish them?
Because North Korea’s behavior is useful to China.
Not to be a conspiracy theorist loon or anything (alert: conspiracy theorist loon material starts here), but what could China do to ensure that all of the debt they bought isn’t made worthless by runaway inflation? What could China do to ensure that the US economy doesn’t tank so that Americans have some disposable income to buy Chinese products? What could China do that would make American stature be reduced in the world so that the slow quest of China in becoming the pre-eminent world power continues apace?
One thing China could do is make the American President look weak, lose popularity and political support for the economically harmful parts of his agenda, and derail some of the policies that could severely devalue the debt they hold. (They may be commies, but they’re not stupid commies.)
Wouldn’t some diplomatic embarrassments work well as a piece of that strategy?