In the age of global superpowers or even hemispheric powers, China is not on the same level as the United States (US) or even Russia. The United States has enjoyed unparalleled power and influence in the western hemisphere since the Monroe Doctrine in 1823.
Since American expansion and the spread of liberalism following the end of World War two and the Cold War, the United States has gone unmatched in terms of influence, not only in their own hemisphere but around the world.
China has serious military and monetary power. It had begun to spread it’s influence, most notably in Africa while struggling to command similar influence in it’s own hemisphere. The subject of hemispheric influence or lack thereof has come to light in recent months. Following the election of Donald Trump to the office of President of the United States, the US has taken a more aggressive foreign policy toward Pyongyang. Trump had asserted that North Korea is “behaving very bad” and “China has done very little to help” in a tweet sent out in March.
As tensions have risen between the United States and North Korea, China is being dragged into the role of mediator as the Unites States threatens unilateral action against Pyongyang. During a meeting between both Presidents of China and the United States, President Xi Jinping informed President Trump that China does not have as much influence over North Korea as is assumed.
What does this mean? well, if China lacks influence over Pyongyang that means the Americans will step in with military action. With possible support from China, Russia, Japan and South Korea. The consequences of such action would be an unimaginable death toll. For China to show it is a superpower and has hemispheric influence, they would need to act. Be it diplomatically or militarily. If they wish to reduce the influence of the US in the region.
Now is the time for China to step up and on the other hand, now is the time for the Us to grow its influence to greater levels.
I’ll finish with this: How would China feel about a divided North Korea or a Korea occupied by American forces? that would US forces on the door to China and on the border of Russia.
History.state.gov. (2017). Milestones: 1801–1829 – Office of the Historian. [online] Available at: https://history.state.gov/milestones/1801-1829/monroe [Accessed 29 Apr. 2017].
Twitter. (2017). Donald J. Trump on Twitter. [online] Available at: https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/842724011234791424?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.latimes.com%2Fpolitics%2Fla-pol-updates-everything-president-1489761191-htmlstory.html [Accessed 29 Apr. 2017].