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Northeast Asia Peace Initiative

China Experts Share their Views on Korean Reunification

Hong Kong, China—UPF-Asia Pacific and the Chinese People’s Federation for World Peace (CPFWP), an affiliated organization, co-sponsored a webinar on March 27, 2021, on the theme, “Peace and Reunification of the Korean Peninsula: Chinese Perspectives,” which was attended by over 500 participants from 25 countries. Panelists spoke in English or Chinese, with simultaneous translation provided between the two and also in Japanese, Korean and Indonesian.

The program was emceed by Mr. Shulin Ng, president of the CPFWP-Malaysia. Following welcoming remarks by UPF-Asia Pacific Chairman Hon. Ek Nath Dhakal and CPFWP-Asia Pacific President Rev. Ker-shung Lee, a panel of four speakers presented their views.

Prof. Seong-hyon Lee, director of the Center for Chinese Studies at the Sejong Institute in Seoul, South Korea, explained the close relationship between China and North Korea as one of “blood ties,” pointing out that the two countries are linked by “socialist solidarity.” China is not pleased with North Korea’s nuclear weapons development, he said, but the bigger issue is China’s rivalry with the United States. He predicts that China-North Korea relations will remain stable in the mid to long term, while China also strengthens its relations with Russia as part of its strategy to counter U.S. power and influence. In other words, China will not support the reunification of the two Koreas.

Prof. Zhiyue Bo is the executive deputy dean of the XIPU New Era Development Research Institute in Suzhou, China. He laid out four possible scenarios for the Korean Peninsula: a divided Korea with or without nuclear weapons, or a unified Korea with or without nuclear weapons. He said that China prefers a friendly North Korea with nuclear weapons over all other options, since it would strengthen China’s position with regard to the United States. A unified Korea with nuclear weapons that is unfriendly to China would of course be the least desirable option, one that China would work against.

Gen. Wei-ku Fu, founding chairman of the Chinese Sun Tzu Art and Research Institute in Taipei, Taiwan, argued that North Korea should not be expected to relinquish its nuclear weapons in an insecure environment where unfriendly countries have them. Sanctions are unreasonable and ineffective, he said, and increased pressure will only lead to greater resistance. To achieve peace, he advised that the international community be sincere, end sanctions and draw North Korea into the economic system of the international community. Only then can reunification be addressed.

Dr. Thomas McDevitt, chairman of The Washington Times in Washington D.C., pointed out that there are growing global concerns about China’s aggressiveness. He expressed the hope that China would not push too hard with the “wolf warrior” mindset, as it is producing backlash, especially in the United States. He said that the situation on the Korean Peninsula cannot be resolved with a Cold War mindset, and advocated an “enlightened grand strategy” based on a higher worldview that recognizes the commonality of the human family under Heaven. He explained that UPF’s global networks of people from all walks of life who sincerely seek peace can play a role in resolving international conflicts, like the one on the Korean Peninsula.

In his closing remarks, Prof. Thomas Hwang, international president of CPFWP, reminded the audience that Chinese philosophy is rooted in the concept of “heavenly principles” and stresses working for the greater good. He said that, when interests collide as they do on the Korean Peninsula, if all parties seek to align with heavenly principles, they can find the best solution. For Korea, he said, the ideal would be to become a neutral, unified country, without nuclear weapons or foreign troops. He explained that UPF co-founders Rev. Sun Myung Moon and Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon have proposed creating a Peace Park in the DMZ and opening an Asia Regional Office of the United Nations there. He expressed the hope that China would support the effort to make Korea a unified, neutral country, like Switzerland, through a mechanism such as the six-party talks.

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