"Follow The Money"

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That Hollywood advice to young reporters brought down a President, and now it’s going to keep China out of a second Korean war. In the just-published winter issue of the Air Force’s Strategic Studies Quarterly, a U.S. intelligence analyst specializing in northeast Asia and nuclear matters predicts that China’s reliance on world trade will keep it on the sidelines if war erupts anew on the Korean peninsula. Japanese-based U.S. Air Force Capt. Jacquelyn Schneider writes:

Perhaps the greatest argument against Chinese military involvement in a second Korean War is its position and reliance on the global economy. As one of the world’s leading exporters, China’s fortunes are irrevocably inter­twined with states poised against North Korea. According to PRC Ministry of Commerce data from February 2010, China in 2009 completed almost $32 billion in trade with the United States, $16.6 billion with South Korea, and $25.5 billion with Japan. In total, China’s trade with the United States, Japan, and South Korea totaled roughly $74 billion and comprised a full 30 percent of China’s total trade. In comparison, China claimed the paltry sum of $380 million in legitimate trade with North Korea, most of which is comprised of highly subsidized loans and aid. To add to the economic repercussions, China is the largest single holder of US cur­rency. The devaluation of the dollar due to a drawn-out war on the pen­insula would deplete the value of China’s stockpiles and perversely damage the Chinese perhaps more acutely than the United States

Peace through Walmart?