BEIJING (AP) — At first glance, it seems the perfect solution to the world’s most dangerous standoff: Find a way to get China to use its enormous influence to force North Korea to abandon its nuclear bombs.
The countries, after all, share a long, porous border, several millennia of history and deep ideological roots. Tens, and possibly hundreds, of thousands of Chinese soldiers, including Mao Zedong’s son, died to save North Korea from obliteration during the Korean War, and China is essentially Pyongyang’s economic lifeline, responsible for most of its trade and oil.
The notion of Chinese power over the North — that the countries are as “close as lips and teeth,” according to a cliche recorded in the 3rd century — is so tantalizing that Donald Trump has spent a good part of his young presidency playing it up.
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