China and north korea a changing relationship

china and north korea a changing relationship

The list of North Korean snubs of China is very long indeed. The Global Times is correct that the China–North Korea relationship has long been. The relationship has prompted questions over how far Pyongyang would As North Korea's nearest and most powerful neighbor, China has a vested the latest missile test "would change China's position on North Korea.". China is North Korea's most important trading partner and main source of food and energy. It has helped sustain Kim Jong-un's regime, and.

This short article does not mean to engage in the debate on whether China or the U. Sino-North Korean relations are not what they used to be. But even as the Chinese government, as well as the vast majority of academics and the young generation, has grown increasingly frustrated with North Korea, there remain pro-North Korean elements, not least among the old generation, in the border areas of Northeast China, and within the armed forces.

Is China changing its strategy towards North Korea? | East Asia Forum

Changes in perception of North Korea aside, this is not what primarily drives Chinese policy towards North Korea or for that matter a concern that North Korea will turn against China militarily.

Rather it is the realpolitik in the region and the potential geopolitical, security and economic implications of continued tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

china and north korea a changing relationship

This is not primarily because of the threat to global security as much as how a nuclear North Korea would, according to Chinese perceptions, strengthen the military alliance between U. Indeed, the alleged U.

Bad Solutions in a Complex Situation: China’s Relations with North Korea | ISPI

The prospect of more strategic weapons in the region, such as the missile defense system THAAD, bombers, but also potentially a U. As recent developments show, this concern is not hypothetical. According to a recent poll by Gallup Korea, 6 out of 10 South Koreas are today supportive of reintroducing U.

Such a scenario of militarization most likely creates tense political, and potentially economic, relations between China and the U.

China–North Korea relations

Conversely, and however unlikely in the present context, China has everything to gain from a successful nuclear deal between the United States and North Korea, which could result in the scaling down of the joint military exercises or even that the U.

Coming under increasing pressure to use its economic leverage to bring Pyongyang to heel, Beijing is faced with a number of considerations.

china and north korea a changing relationship

Its economic relations with North Korea are miniscule compared to its much larger trading relations with the U. In other words, it can afford to cut off economic relations with North Korea. Kim simply refused to meet with Song.

Our new relationship with North Korea seems a lot like our old relationship with North Korea

The list of North Korean snubs of China is very long indeed. But this admission raises the question of why the two countries are still keeping the mutual defence pact. The relationship, like Chinese anxiety, is caught between fiction and reality. It does not solve the policy problem of how much influence China needs to have and what kind of role it must carve out for itself.

An equally strong premonition is that China cannot afford to lose any more opportunities to shape the situation in its favour.

china and north korea a changing relationship

Chinese elites argue that China needs to regain the initiative, enhance its influence and play a larger role. Some officials and analysts find comfort in the thought that China will always have a role simply by virtue of its power, geography and history. China should grasp opportunities as the situation develops. This is a sensible but not satisfying approach.

china and north korea a changing relationship

It places hope in the future and solves no immediate problems. Others argue that China must be more proactive.

china and north korea a changing relationship

They say that China should intervene in the multilateral diplomacy leading up to the Trump—Kim summit. Viewing the crisis as a matter between the United States and North Korea, with China as a bystander, would simply shut Beijing out of the process and diminish its influence.

Chinese strategists have called for Beijing to act with greater assertiveness in North Korea for at least a decade, with rather limited policy influence.