US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will be visiting China on invitation from Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing and will discuss the North Korean nuclear issue, regional, and international issues of common concern. They are also expected to disclose some agreement on the implementation of the UN sanctions as Beijing is the chief diplomatic ally and main aid provider to Pyongyang . Rice will also visit other regional partners in the 6-nation format ( Russia , Japan , and South Korea ).
In a remarkable move, China has started to quietly raise 8-12 foot walls and barbed fences along the border with NK and is reported to have even inspected cargo. However, it is not clear if this is a shift in policy, a public relations stunt ahead of Rice’s visit, or acting on intelligence. China also warned NK to stop its bellicose statements calling the UN sanctions “nonsensical” and instigating military action by challenging the world that it “is nor afraid of war” because it is a “nuclear weapons state.”
The US did not help matters any with its counter volley calling for action “to really make it clear that North Korea will pay a very, very high price for this type of reckless behavior.” China is trying to defuse the situation “through dialogue and consultation” and if it can bring a compromise, it will see its influence increase exponentially in the world and rival the declining US sphere of influence.