Shades of Responsibility: China’s Ambassador to South Korea Denies Beijing Is Silent

By | October 27, 2022 | No Comments

 Chinese ambassador to South Korea Xing Haiming’s recent participation at a discussion session in Seoul has received some coverage in the English-language media, notably his remarks about Taiwan and the Sino-US strategic competition. One notable aspect of Xing’s remarks, however, that haven’t been widely covered in Anglophone media is his rebuttal of the “China responsibility theory” regarding the DPRK’s nuclear capabilities. When pressed on whether Beijing has turned a blind eye to the North’s provocations, China’s top envoy to Seoul positioned the PRC as being a responsible player, while also taking a moment to hit out at the US’s position toward Pyongyang. 


Ambassador Xing Haiming: “China has never been silent toward North Korean provocations… will resolve things through dialogue”[1]


China’s ambassador to South Korea, Xing Haiming, stated that China has never been silent about North Korea’s provocations, and that China will strive to resolve the issue through dialogue. 

During a debate at the Kwanhun Club at the Seoul Press Center on October 26, Ambassador Xing was asked China has opposed sanctions against North Korea at the UN, but hasn’t China remained silent while acknowledging North Korea’s nuclear weapons?”

Xing Haiming countered by asking, “The Korean Peninsula is connected to China. What good would it be for China if a war or some other incident broke out? We have suggested that we resolve this issue through dialogue, when have we remained silent (about North Korea)?”

Meanwhile, Ambassador Xing insisted that “I can’t cite specific examples, yet I have continuously been in contact with various players and said ‘Let’s not make this a fight between two strongmen’, but do you think the US will listen to China? Now (the North Korea issue) is becoming a source of conflict, but this is not what we want”. 

Furthermore, he said that “We, for the sake of the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, will strive to resolve the issue through dialogue the Chinese way”.

Ambassador Xing declared “Don’t you know how much China will work toward denuclearization?”; he insisted that everything from the 2003 three-way talks between North Korea, the US and China in Beijing to the Six Party Talks to the DPRK-US dialogue in 2019 occurred thanks to Chinese mediation. 

However, right after the initial “September 19 Joint Statement” was adopted at the Six Party Talks, the US froze North Korean assets at the Macau-based Banco Delta Asia; citing the breaking of the agreement, he slammed the US by asking “Is China’s responsible for that?” 

Ambassador Xing stated “Lately here (in South Korea) there has been a lot of talk about ‘getting our own nuclear weapons’ yet I am also opposed to that”, as reintroducing tactical nuclear arms into the country would run counter to the principle of denuclearization. 


Original article by Shin Jihye. Translated by Anthony V. Rinna.


[1] Source: Ambassador Xing Haiming: “China has never been silent toward North Korean provocations… will resolve things through dialogue” [싱하이밍 대사 “중국, 北도발 묵인한 적 없어…대화 통해 해결해야”], KBS News, October 26, 2022


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