China won’t give up N.K. as it provides ‘strategic buffer zone’: expert

China will not give up North Korea as the country fits its need for a "strategic buffer zone" and its importance has increased due to the U.S. efforts to isolate Beijing, a Chinese expert on Korean affairs said Thursday.

"Up until recently when ties between China and South Korea improved and the nuclear crisis on the peninsula repeatedly flared up, some even in our country mentioned giving up North Korea," Wu Peng, a politics professor at China's Southwest University, said during an international seminar held at Ajou University, south of Seoul.

"Geopolitically speaking, however, you should keep in mind that the North is a safety wall and a strategic buffer zone for China," he added. "The North's strategic value has been regarded as more important at a time when the U.S. is seeking the isolation of China."

Wu said that China shouldn't give up the North and that based on the ties, Beijing should expand its influence enough so as to control the pace of any developments in the reclusive country.

He, however, cautioned other countries involved in North's nuclear issue against believing that Beijing can do everything.

"There is no such alliance as the one between South Korea and the U.S.," he said, adding that the relations between China and North Korea are different. "In dealing with the North, we should forgo the Cold War-era way of thinking and shouldn't pass all the problems onto China thinking that it is a behind-the-scenes boss (of Pyongyang)," he said. "That irresponsible attitude would be of no help in finding solutions to the problems at hand."

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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