North Korea Diplomacy and U.S.-China Relations

Paul Haenle & Kaiser Kuo from Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy
Paul Haenle joined Kaiser Kuo to discuss next steps for DPRK diplomacy and tensions between the United States and China over trade, Taiwan, and the Belt and Road Initiative. Haenle shared his experience working as White House representative to the...

Kim Jong-un Returns to China, This Time With Leverage

Jane Perlez
New York Times
North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, arrived in Beijing on Tuesday amid an escalating trade conflict between China and the United States, one that gives him an opening to play the powers against each other as Washington presses him to dismantle his...

The Unexpected Winner From the Trump-Kim Summit: China

Jeremy Page
Wall Street Journal
China is setting its sights on a key role in North Korea’s future, seeking to be part of any peace treaty, weapons inspections and economic assistance, after emerging as a surprise beneficiary of the summit between the U.S. and North Korean leaders.

China Says U.S.-North Korea Summit Offers No Lesson for Taiwan Ties

Reuters Staff
Reuters
A warming of ties between the United States and North Korea does not mean China will reach out to Taiwan for a similar summit, the Chinese government said on Wednesday.

Ivanka Trump Quotes ‘Chinese Proverb,’ but China Is Baffled

Javier C. Hernández
New York Times
It was supposed to be a triumphant tweet.

How Did Kim Jong-un Get to Singapore? With Some Help From China.

Jane Perlez
New York Times
When Kim Jong-un arrived in Singapore on Sunday for his landmark summit meeting with President Trump, he stepped off a jumbo jet emblazoned with the logo of Air China and the Chinese national flag.

Ending Military Exercises? Trump’s Plan for North Korea Was China’s Plan First.

Emily Rauhala
Washington Post
President Trump cut a deal with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un — and China is going to like it.

Chinese Companies May Invest in North Korea. American Not so Much

Daniel Shane
CNN
President Donald Trump met North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore on Tuesday at a historic summit that the United States hopes will lead to North Korean nuclear disarmament.

Trump’s North Korea Summit Falls Short of Nixon-Goes-To-China Moment

Matt Spetalnick, David Brunnstrom
Reuters
Donald Trump’s dramatic meeting with North Korea’s leader may have been choreographed to look like a Nixon-goes-to-China moment, but the summit appears to have failed to secure any concrete commitments by Pyongyang for dismantling its nuclear...

Top Aide to Kim Jong-Un Is Bound for U.S., Trump Says

Jane Perlez and Choe Sang-Hun
New York Times
Kim Yong-chol, one of the most trusted aides to the North’s leader, is “heading now to New York."...

Trump Cedes Trade Leverage to China in His Quest for Kim Summit

Saleha Mohsin and Nick Wadhams
Bloomberg
North Korea may turn out to be Chinese President Xi Jinping’s greatest ally in negotiating a trade deal with President Donald Trump.

What Comes Next after the Panmunjom Summit?

Paul Haenle & Zhao Tong from Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy
Kim Jong-un became the first North Korean leader to set foot in South Korea at the Panmunjom Summit in April 2018, setting the stage for President Trump’s meeting with Kim in June. Just days after the summit, Paul Haenle spoke with Tong Zhao, a...

Kim Pays a Second Surprise Visit to China, Heightening Diplomatic Drama

Jane Perlez
New York Times
The leaders of China and North Korea met for the second time in two months on Tuesday, staying overnight in this Chinese port city as China worked to regain control in the fast-moving diplomacy over the North’s nuclear program.

Conversation

04.25.18

Does China Want the Koreas to Reconcile?

Bo Zhiyue, Zhang Baohui & more
This Friday, April 27, the South Korean and North Korean leaders will meet in the demilitarized zone dividing their estranged countries to discuss improving relations and possibly even formally ending the Korean War, which has continued in the form...

What China Gained From Hosting Kim Jong Un

Oriana Skylar Mastro
Foreign Affairs
In late March, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who had not stepped foot outside the hermit kingdom since taking power in 2011, traveled to Beijing to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping for the first time.

Three Takeaways from Kim Jong Un’s Trip to China

Rush Doshi
Washington Post
What to learn from the secret meeting between Xi and Kim?

Viewpoint

03.31.18

Nixon in China, Trump in Pyongyang

Sergey Radchenko
On March 25, the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un arrived in Beijing in an armored train for talks with Chinese Communist Party Secretary Xi Jinping, the first known time he traveled outside his country since his father and predecessor died in...

Conversation

03.28.18

Kim Jong-un Visits Beijing

Sung-Yoon Lee, Ankit Panda & more
After two days of rumors, on Wednesday March 28, the official news agencies of China and North Korea announced that North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un had just completed a visit to Beijing. The “unofficial visit,” as Xinhua put it, was Kim’s first...

When Xi Met Kim: How China and North Korea Depicted It

Javier C. Hernández
New York Times
Kim Jong-un’s surprise visit to Beijing this week to meet President Xi Jinping added an element of intrigue to talks over North Korea’s nuclear program.

China Says North Korea’s Kim Pledged Commitment to Denuclearization

Ben Blanchard, Joyce Lee
Reuters
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un pledged his commitment to denuclearization and to meet U.S. officials, China said on Wednesday after his meeting with President Xi Jinping, who promised China would uphold friendship with its isolated neighbor.

What Kim Jong-Un May Get in Reaching out to China

Steven Lee Myers and Choe Sang-Hun
New York Times
A flurry of activity and speculation surrounding Beijing’s diplomatic quarter on Tuesday accompanied what officials described as an unusual, and highly secretive, visit by North Korean dignitaries, possibly even the country’s youthful leader, Kim...

North Korean Leader Kim Jong-Un Leaves Beijing after Surprise Visit

SCMP Staff
South China Morning Post
Security returns to normal in Chinese capital as armored train pulls out.

Why Would Kim Jong Un Make a Secret Trip to China?

James Griffiths
CNN
A surprise visit by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to China may indicate Pyongyang’s need for support from its closest ally ahead of upcoming summits with South Korea and the US.

North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un Is Said to Be Visiting China

Bloomberg News
Bloomberg
Kim Jong Un has made a surprise visit to Beijing on his first known trip outside North Korea since taking power in 2011, three people with knowledge of the visit said.

Conversation

03.13.18

When Trump and Kim Meet, What Will Xi Do?

Zha Daojiong, Sergey Radchenko & more
On March 8, South Korea’s National Security Advisor announced that Donald Trump had agreed to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un by May. Although now-ousted Secretary of State Rex Tillerson previously downplayed the announcement, a summit...

Beijing Watches and Waits While Trump Talks up His Meeting with Kim Jong Un

Nyshka Chandran
CNBC
The milestone summit suits Beijing's interests so the communist state isn't expected to interfere...

South Korea Moves to Ease Chinese Jitters over U.S.-North Korea Talks

Euan McKirdy
CNN
South Korean officials met with Xi about Trump-Kim Meeting.

Viewpoint

11.08.17

Will Trump’s ‘Flattery Machine’ Work on Xi Jinping?

Orville Schell
Before winging off to Beijing, Trump managed to convince his staff and Korean President Moon to take him to the demilitarized zone (DMZ). Many of his aides were said to have been wary about the idea, fearing he might make some kind of provocative...

North Korea’s Kim Congratulates China’s Xi after Congress

Christine Kim
Reuters
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un sent a rare congratulatory message to Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday at the end of China’s Communist Party Congress, wishing him “great success” as head of the nation, the North’s state media said.

Why Kim Jong Un Is Alienating China

Blaine Harden
Washington Post
Totalitarian leaders usually don’t explain themselves, and Kim — six years in power and only 33 — is no exception. But insights into his Sino-belligerence can be gleaned from the back story of his family.

In Tillerson's China Stop, Questions on North Korea but Slim Chance of Clarity

David E. Sanger
New York Times
Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson is scheduled to arrive in Beijing early Saturday for a brief visit, amid confusing signals about President Trump’s position on two questions looming over the confrontation with North Korea: Is America’s long-term...

There’s One North Korea Taboo China's Leaders Won’t Talk About

Ting Shi and David Tweed
Bloomberg
In discussions between the U.S. and China about reining in North Korea, one topic remains taboo: What would happen if Kim Jong Un’s regime collapses?

Is Trump All Talk on North Korea? The Uncertainty Sends a Shiver

Julie Hirschfeld Davis
New York Times
Mr. Trump’s willingness to casually threaten to annihilate a nuclear-armed foe was yet another reminder of the steep risks inherent in his brute-force approach to diplomacy.

Sinica Podcast

09.22.17

North Korea Behind the Scenes

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
North Korea is a mystery to nearly everyone—even those who have dedicated their lives to studying the country, including Korean experts based in Seoul, national security experts in Washington or Beijing, and a variety of foreigners who have spent...

Conversation

09.21.17

What Will China Do if the U.S. Attacks North Korea?

Shen Dingli, Bonnie S. Glaser & more
During a speech at the United Nations General Assembly on September 19, U.S. President Donald Trump warned that if North Korea threatened the United States or its allies, he would “totally destroy” the nation. As tensions continue to rise between...

Did Kim Jong-Un Kill His Uncle and Brother over ‘Coup Plot Involving China’?

Telegraph
Sources told the newspaper that Kim Jong-Un’s uncle, Mr. Jang Song Thaek, proposed a plot to overthrow Mr. Kim, with Beijing's assistance, and to replace him with his oldest half-brother, Kim Jong-nam...

Conversation

08.10.17

Should China Support the U.S. in a War with North Korea?

Ryan Hass, Susan Shirk & more
On August 9, U.S. President Donald Trump warned North Korea that if it does not stop threatening the United States, it will be “met with fire and fury and frankly power, the likes of which this world has never seen before.” Just hours later, the...

China Is Trading More with North Korea but Buying Much Less Coal

CNN
A Chinese government official said Thursday that China-North Korea trade was worth $2.6 billion in the first half of 2017, up about 10% over the same period last year.

Commentary: Why North Korea Is Turning into a Headache for China and Xi Jinping

Bo Zhiyue
Channel NewsAsia
Chinese President Xi Jinping has found himself in a peculiar predicament over the North Korean nuclear issue. Although Xi is widely believed to be far more popular as a global leader than his immediate predecessor, President Hu Jintao, he is...

North Korea Blights China’s One Belt, One Road Party with Missile Launch

James Griffiths
North Korea’s missile launch Sunday came at a highly embarrassing time for China, its chief ally and economic partner. As Chinese President Xi Jinping prepared to inaugurate the Belt and Road Forum, Pyongyang fired a ballistic missile from a base in...

China Tells U.S. and North Korea to ‘Stop Irritating Each Other’

Ben Blanchard
Independent
China has called on all parties in the Korean standoff to stay calm and “stop irritating each other” a day after North Korea said the United States was pushing the region to the brink of nuclear war.

Viewpoint

05.03.17

Thinking about War with China

Chas W. Freeman
Let’s not kid ourselves. The armed forces of the United States and China are now very far along in planning and practicing how to go to war with each other. Neither has any idea when or why it might have to engage the other on the battlefield but...

Pals Donald Trump and Xi Jinping Still Split on North Korea

BENNY AVNI
Daily Beast
Even President Trump’s newfound and well-advertised friendship with Xi Jinping may not be enough to overcome the sharp differences between the United States’ and China’s goals on North Korea.

The North Korea Rhetoric Is Angry -- but Is Conflict Closer?

Joshua Berlinger, Brad Lendon
CNN
U.S. warships and submarines are on the move. North Korea has carried out its largest ever live-fire drill. Washington and Pyongyang are trading inflammatory rhetoric on a weekly basis.

China Left as Observer as Tensions Rise on Korean Peninsula

Christopher Bodeen
Washington Post
China’s foreign minister recently likened the U.S. and North Korea to two speeding trains hurtling toward each other, an analogy that would seem to place China in the role of helpless bystander. And indeed, while tensions have risen, Beijing has...

Trump: I Haven't Softened My Stance on China

Louis Nelson
Politico
Trump left open the possibility that China might ultimately be unable, or unwilling, to apply sufficient pressure on North Korea.

Trump: I Haven't Softened My Stance on China

Louis Nelson
Politico
Trump left open the possibility that China might ultimately be unable, or unwilling, to apply sufficient pressure on North Korea.

The North Korean threat is literally on parade. Can Trump get China to act?

Washington Post
Is Mr. Trump driving toward a new outcome with China or the same old dead end?

China’s Korea Policy ‘in Tatters’ as Both North and South Defy Sanctions

Washington Post
On Monday, South Korea announced that it would press ahead with the “swift deployment” of a U.S. missile defense system, despite vociferous Chinese opposition.

China Loses a Friend, and Leverage, with North Korean Murder

Bloomberg
The mysterious death of Kim Jong Un’s half-brother removed a potential avenue for China to press the North Korean leader to rein in his nuclear ambitions.

China’s North Korea Calculus under Trump

Paul Haenle & Zhao Tong from Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy
Two weeks into President Trump’s first term, the White House has launched a review of its North Korea policy. Dealing with the threat from Pyongyang’s missile launches and nuclear weapons program is likely to top the administration’s security agenda...

As Trump and North Korea’s Kim Spar, China Poses as the Responsible Actor

Simon Denyer
Washington Post
President-elect Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un have been trading threats this week, while China poses as the mature, reasonable kid on the block.

Who Is Kim Jong-un?

Andrew J. Nathan from New York Review of Books
The pudgy cheeks and flaring hairdo of North Korea’s young ruler Kim Jong-un, his bromance with tattooed and pierced former basketball star Dennis Rodman, his boy-on-a-lark grin at missile firings, combine incongruously with the regime’s pledge to...

China's Xi Congratulates North Korea's Kim on New Title

Associated Press
Xi Congratulates Kim Jong Un on being chairman of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea, underscoring traditional ties between the communist neighbors despite recent strains...

China Has Unblocked Internet Searches That Refer to Kim Jong-Un as a ‘Pig’

Rishi Iyengar
Time
Experts say it may be a sign of China's displeasure with Kim's nuclear buildup...

Will China Take Kim Jong-Un's Insult Lying Down?

Robert A. Manning
Newsweek
North Korea has conducted a nuclear weapon test and an intercontinental ballistic missile test as Beijing tries to repair frayed ties with Pyongyang.

Conversation

02.09.16

What New Approach Should the U.S. and China Take to North Korea?

John Delury, Seong-Hyon Lee & more
On Sunday, North Korea launched a long range rocket many see as a test of its capability to launch a missile attack against the U.S., defying both American and Chinese pressure not do so. Republican U.S. presidential candidates argued Washington...

China Struggles for Balance in Response to North Korea’s Boldness

Jane Perlez and Choe Sang-Hun
New York Times
North Korea's Kim Jong-un emphatically ignores China’s entreaties to refrain from launching a rocket...

Conversation

01.06.16

The North Korean Bomb Test—What's Next?

Barbara Demick, Jonathan D. Pollack & more
On Wednesday, North Korea claimed that it had tested a hydrogen bomb, bringing to four the number of nuclear weapons it has set off on its own territory since 2006. The act drew international condemnation, prompting us to ask: What’s different this...

No. Korea Tested a Nuclear Bomb on China’s Doorstep, and China is Not Pleased

May Shi and Echo Huang Yinyin
Quartz
In Yanji, a trade hub between the two countries, desks and tables swayed and people were evacuated from buildings.