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China-NK relationship

14 1 5
06.02.2018
By Lee Seong-hyon

The view that China would not "abandon" North Korea, despite repeated provocations by North Korea, has been recently strengthened in the context of U.S. policy of "pivot to Asia," which China regards as Washington's ploy to contain China. Both U.S. National Security Strategy (NSS) and Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) name China as a rival, signaling a return to great power competition. As the mistrust and conflict between Washington and Beijing deepens, North Korea's strategic value to China is bound to increase.

Against the backdrop, there is now a notion that China-North Korea relations are like U.S.-Israel relations. The U.S. has all the leverage over Israel, but Israel doesn't listen to Washington. The danger of leaning on this notion is obvious: it sees geopolitics as a fixed destiny and there's nothing we can do about it. As a policy, this would serve as a self-defeating recipe.

However, history shows that Beijing regarded Pyongyang as "expendable" even during the Korean War when China aided North Korea. In other words, China's policy toward North Korea is not fixed but fluid, and that Washington and Seoul could inspire changes within China's policy toward North Korea. The cardinal question is to........

© The Korea Times