China warns America: Don’t go first

China warns America: Don’t go first. By Reuters.

If North Korea launches an attack that threatens the United States then China should stay neutral, but if the United States attacks first and tries to overthrow North Korea’s government China will stop them, a Chinese state-run newspaper said on Friday. …

The widely read state-run Global Times, published by the ruling Communist Party’s official People’s Daily, wrote in an editorial that Beijing is not able to persuade either Washington or Pyongyang to back down. …

China has long worried that any conflict on the Korean peninsula, or a repeat of the 1950-53 Korean war, could unleash a wave of destabilizing refugees into its northeast, and could end up with a reunified county allied with the United States.

North Korea is a useful buffer state for China between it and U.S. forces based in South Korea, and also across the sea in Japan.

hat-tip Stephen Neil