War in China?


A talk at the National Arts Centre last week dealt with a topic that comes close to the Middle East on the controversy meter, Charles Burton, a political science professor at Brock University, one-time sinologist-in-residence and later counsellor for political affairs at the Canadian Embassy in Beijing, was in town to speak at a meeting of the Canadian Institute of International Affairs.  In his 45-minute presentation, he argued that China’s economic rise and the American desire to have China defuse North Korea’s nuclear threat have actually increased the threat of war because North Korea’s response has been to step up its nuclear program rather than phase it down, while China has used its favoured position with the U.S. to get concessions on Taiwan.  Taiwan’s nervousness, he said, has led to a more aggressive independence movement.