(Zero Hedge) In a troubling repudiation of President Donald Trump’s demands that Beijing do more to rein in its bellicose neighbor, Beijing, through the state-owned media, cautioned the US president on Friday that it would intervene (militarily) on North Korea’s behalf if the US and South Korea launch a preemptive strike to “overthrow the North Korean regime,” according to a statement in the influential state-run newspaper Global Times.
“If the U.S. and South Korea carry out strikes and try to overthrow the North Korean regime and change the political pattern of the Korean Peninsula, China will prevent them from doing so,” it said.
At the same time, the Chinese regime made it clear that its preferred outcome would be a continuation of the status quo, warning Kim Jong Un that it would “remain neutral if North Korea were to strike first.” The article, cited by Rueters, reiterated calls for a diplomatic solution. However, the possibility of talks between the two sides was looking increasingly remote as both Trump and Kim continued to exchange threats of nuclear annihilation, with Trump clarifying Thursday that his earlier promise to respond with “fire and fury” should the North continue to threaten the US may not have gone far enough.
China – North Korea’s most important ally and trading partner – has reiterated calls for calm during the current crisis. Beijing has expressed frustration with both Pyongyang’s repeated nuclear and missile tests and with behavior from South Korea and the United States, such as military drills, that it sees as escalating tensions.
“China should also make clear that if North Korea launches missiles that threaten U.S. soil first and the U.S. retaliates, China will stay neutral,” the Global Times, which is widely read but does not represent government policy, said in an editorial…