It appears China is covering for North Korea. From the New York Times:
China has tried to suppress a report at the United Nations suggesting that North Korea and Iran have been routinely sharing ballistic missile technology, United Nations diplomats said Saturday, expressing concern that Beijing was again working to shield the North.
So why would China cover for North Korea? Is there some Chinese culpability here regarding violations of existing UN sanctions?
[In their report, UN experts] said that the [illegal] technology transfers had “trans-shipment through a neighboring third country.” The report did not specify which, but several United Nations diplomats identified that country as China, North Korea’s neighbor and most important ally.
Of course, China may be interested in propping up North Korea so as to avoid having to deal with their collapse, which would be a humanitarian crisis of significant proportions. After all, not everyone can work at the iPad factory. The collapse of the North Korean gulag-state, where the economy can’t feed itself and its main exports are counterfeit $100 bills, nuclear proliferation, and ballistic missile technologies, will happen; it’s just a matter of time. China ought to get serious about dealing with its demented neighbor instead of covering for them (and perhaps themselves).
The report was submitted to Security Council members over the weekend, but had been delayed for days before that after the Chinese expert on the panel refused to sign off on the report.
The efficacy of international organizations is part of the issue:
“The Chinese expert refused to sign the report, under pressure from Beijing, and this raises serious issues about a panel of experts that is supposed to be free from political interference,” said a senior United Nations diplomat, requesting anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on the issue.
Political behavior at the UN: I’m shocked, shocked!
China has in the past tried to block reports on North Korea and Sudan, and earlier this week Russia moved to suppress a deeply critical expert panel report on Iran. Both Russia and China, which are permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, typically cleave to the view that the world body should not impinge upon the sovereignty.
So Russia and China “typically cleave to the view that the world body should not impinge upon the sovereignty”? The exception of course, it when it serves their own interests to not do so. The bigger problem for Russia and China is if they had to go open kimono regarding their own misbehaviors in the intellectual property, crime, human rights, and other arenas.
Birds of a feather and all that? Consider the nations listed above: China, North Korea, Sudan, Russia, and Iran.