N Korea, Taiwan: How dictatorship & democracy are threatening China

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Things are not going smoothly for China these days in its external affairs. Besides the South China Sea headache and problems created by North Korea's nuclear test, the victory of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in the presidential election in Taiwan is set to raise fresh concerns for Beijing.

An editorial in China's official news agency Xinhua said, "Now that the Democratic Progressive Party leader Tsai Ing-wen has won Taiwan's "presidential" election, she should waste no time to prove that she is sincere in maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits.

[Hydrogen bomb test: How a growing North Korea is causing headache for China]

Chinese President Xi Jinping

She should work to make people in Taiwan feel safe, instead of creating anxieties with her ambiguous mainland policy," adding: "Any attempt to steer the island closer to independence will be a fool's errand."

Taiwan's new era a worry for China

The DPP's victory, which marked the climax of the Sunflower Movement of 2014, is set to usher in a new era which could see democracy deepening more in Taiwan (like legalisation of same-sex marriage, implementation of indigenous land rights) and this will keep China apprehensive about a likely consequence in the political front as well.

The DPP leadership has underscored "maintaining the status quo" during its election campaign but has not made it clear on how it would approach the 1992 Consensus, which says there is only one China, comprising both the mainland and Taiwan. However, the meaning of "one China" is subject to interpretation by both sides.

[How US and China have helped North Korea threaten the world]

The Kuomintang (KMT), which saw its support base eroding over the years, had justified better economic ties with the Chinese for Taiwan's economic growth but the president-elect, Tsai Ing-wen, who likens herself to German Chancellor Angela Merkel feels the ties have made Taiwan too dependent on China, and hence vulnerable.

The new leadership thinks Taiwan should try to cultivate opportunities elsewhere, something that nationalist forces like the KMT and Beijing would not approve of.

DPP's take on S China Sea, Japan

Ing-wen's preference for freedom of navigation in the disputed South China and eyeing stronger relations the Japan will create more anxiety in the Chinese establishment.

While democracy is causing China much discomfort in Taiwan, the North Korean dictatorship is also not allowing it much respite.

China under more pressure on N Korea

The January 6 test by the North Korean regime led by Kim Jong-un has put much pressure on China internationally since it has traditionally backed the hermit kingdom.

[Nepal to North Korea: China's contrasting buffer experience]

Although Beijing condemned the test conducted by a North Korean leadership the ties with which have seen more downs in the recent years, the international community led by the United States, Japan and South Korea have ratcheted up pressure on the former to support the strongest possible punishment against Pyongyang.

They feel that if China doesn't back its words with equally strong action, North Korea would continue with its tests unabated in the future.

Beijing, however, thinks that it is the provocation caused by the US which pushed the Korean Peninsula to the verge of brinkmanship and things would not improve in the volatile region if only it makes efforts to calm Pyongyang down.

Its relation with South Korea, even after North Korea went berserk, has surprisingly been more centred on Japan which is surprising. It seems the Cold War equations between China and the rest in East Asia are too rigid to change even under new security order.

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