Bitter Allies: China and North Korea

Categories: Academic
by Alexander Mitu on January 25th, 2018   274 views

When and Where

  • 25/01/2018
    6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

  • Asia Society
    725 Park Avenue
    New York City
    New York
    10021
    United States
    (get map)

Bitter Allies: China and North Korea

Event Details

China and North Korea are nominally allies, but relations between the two neighbors – always difficult – have deteriorated as North Korea has accelerated its nuclear and ballistic missile development under Kim Jong Un.

Over the past year, Kim has deliberately timed his nuclear and ballistic missile tests to coincide with high-profile Chinese events such as the BRICS summit in Xiamen, the Belt and Road forum in Beijing, and the Xi-Trump Mar-a-Lago summit. Yet, North Korea is economically dependent on China, which currently accounts for over 90 percent of its total trade volume and most food and energy imports. Although Beijing has tightened sanctions on North Korea, China remains an economic lifeline and has resisted placing regime-threatening pressure on Pyongyang.

Does the solution to the North Korea threat run through Beijing? Who really holds the upper hand in the Sino-DPRK relationship? Could Xi Jinping, who recently further strengthened his domestic grip on power, bring Kim Jong Un to heel if he wanted to? Or do socialist ties and North Korea’s value as a buffer state outweigh the risks of a defiant nuclear neighbor?

This Asia Society Policy Institute panel discussion will outline the historical context of North Korea-China ties, and unpack key aspects of this critical, but often misunderstood relationship. Panelists will explore the economic, political and military relations between these “frenemies” and the implications for U.S. policy in the aftermath of the Trump-Xi Summit in Beijing.

Tickets are $20 for members and $40 for non-members. You can purchase tickets here.

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