Why China Won’t Pressure North Korea as Much as Trump Wants

Evan Osnos
New Yorker
At the center of the North Korean nuclear crisis is a pivotal question: How much is China really willing to pressure and punish its longtime ally in Pyongyang? Recent conversations in Beijing and Washington suggest that Chinese leaders have decided...

China’s State Media Blasts US Handling of North Korea Crisis

Kristin Huang
South China Morning Post
China has shown its deepening frustration over the North Korean missile test crisis, with a commentary in the state-run People’s Daily blaming the United States for hindering efforts to resolve the issue.

Chinese Academics Prod Beijing to Consider North Korea Contingencies

Reuters Staff
Reuters
Chinese academics are publicly broaching the idea that China and the United States should share plans on how to deal with a potential conflict on the Korean Peninsula, a sign some say of how North Korea’s weapons test may be making Beijing more open...

China and Russia Warn the U.S. Not to Seek North Korean Regime Change

Ting Shi and David Tweed
Bloomberg
In supporting a watered-down version of North Korea sanctions, China and Russia had a stern warning for the U.S.: Don’t try to overthrow Kim Jong Un’s regime.

Tillerson Is Working with China and Russia — Very, Very Quietly

David Ignatius
Washington Post
The Tillerson approach focuses on personal diplomacy, in direct contacts with Chinese and Russian leaders, and through private channels to North Korea. His core strategic assumption is that if the United States can subtly manage its relations with...

China Will Back Fresh U.N. Measures on North Korea over Nuclear Tests

Emily Rauhala
Washington Post
China’s foreign minister said Thursday that Beijing would support further U.N.-imposed “measures” against North Korea following its largest nuclear test, but stopped short of saying whether China would back crippling economic sanctions such as halts...

South Korea Calls for Cutting North Korea's Oil Supplies but Russia Is Reluctant

Michelle Ye Hee Lee
Washington Post
Amid escalating tensions in the Korean Peninsula, South Korean President Moon Jae-In sought Russian backing Wednesday for calls to block critical crude oil supplies to the North Korean regime after its latest nuclear test.

Bad News, World: China Can’t Solve the North Korea Problem

Max Fisher
New York Times
After each North Korean provocation, a soothing mantra echoes through the halls of government and think tanks in the United States.

North Korea Nuclear Test Puts Pressure on China and Undercuts Xi

Jane Perlez
New York Times
It was supposed to be Xi Jinping’s moment to bask in global prestige, as the Chinese president hosted the leaders of some of the world’s most dynamic economies at a summit meeting just weeks before a Communist Party leadership conference.

China Can Squeeze Its Neighbors When It Wants. Ask South Korea

Jethro Mullen
CNN
South Korean businesses have been suffering since early this year after the country angered the Chinese government with the deployment of a U.S. missile defense system. The victims include companies in tourism and retail, but also Hyundai (HYMTF),...

Conversation

08.29.17

Is the United States Still the Predominant Power in the Pacific?

Dennis J. Blasko, James Holmes & more
In late August, a U.S. destroyer collided with an oil tanker—the fourth such accident for the U.S. Navy in Asia since January. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump has increased troop commitments in Afghanistan, threatened to strike North Korea with “...

China Says North Korea Tensions Have Reached 'Tipping Point'

Agence France Presse
South China Morning Post
China warned that tensions on the Korean peninsula have reached a “tipping point” after North Korea on Tuesday fired a ballistic missile over Japan, but said the United States and South Korea are partly to blame. 

China State Media Says US Will ‘Pay’ for ‘Unjust’ Sanctions

CNBC
China has come out strongly against new U.S. moves to pressure North Korea with its foreign ministry opposing the “long-arm jurisdiction” of President Donald Trump’s administration, arguing that Beijing has always met international obligations in...

Steve Bannon Says U.S. In Economic War with China

NBC News
The United States is in an economic war with China, U.S President Donald Trump's chief political strategist has said, warning Washington is losing the fight but is about to hit China hard over unfair trade practices...

Can the United States Play North Korea against China?

Josh Rogin
Washington Post
For decades, the United States has been trying to get China to use its influence and power to isolate North Korea. Now, experts are asking, why doesn’t the United States try working with North Korea to isolate China? That could be a game...

Here’s How Chinese Companies Are Acting As Shopping Agencies To Help North Korea Violate Sanctions

Jonathan Kaiman and Barbara Demick
Los Angeles Times
Cai didn’t know what he was bringing into North Korea, and he didn’t dare ask.Whenever the 49-year-old truck driver crossed the bridge into North Korea, the cargo was carefully wrapped so he couldn’t see what was inside.

China’s Energy Exports To North Korea Plummet–But It’s Not Because of Sanctions

Kristin Huang
South China Morning Post
China’s energy exports to North Korea — including electricity and oil and gas products — have fallen sharply.Experts said the drop may partly be due to Pyongyang becoming more self—sufficient in producing energy rather than the impact of sanctions...

China Bans North Korea Iron, Lead, Coal Imports as Part of U.N. Sanctions

Washington Post
China announced a ban on imports of iron ore, iron, lead and coal from North Korea on Monday, increasing economic pressure on the Pyongyang regime while moving to implement a package of sanctions put together by the U.N. Security Council.

What a Standoff on a Small Himalayan Plateau Says about the Rivalry between the Two Most Populous Nations

Los Angeles Times
In a tense standoff between nuclear-armed nations that threatens to destabilize Asia, both sides are digging in, with one warning of unspecified “countermeasures” and the other saying it won’t be bullied.

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...

As Trump Unnerves Asia, China Sees an Opening

New York Times
With America’s Asian allies unnerved by President Trump’s threat to bring “fire and fury” to North Korea, China sees a chance to capitalize on the fear and confusion and emerge as the sober-minded power in the region, according to analysts who study...

Gaps in Records Cloak China’s North Korean ‘Slave Laborers’ in Mystery

South China Morning Post
It is an open secret that a significant number of North Korean laborers work in China and Russia in border cities, especially in Siberia. But owing to minimal record-keeping, little is known about the workers’ presence or activities

Why Trump’s North Korea Threat Is the Last Thing China Needs

Ben Wescott
CNN
US President Donald Trump’s threats of “fire and fury” against North Korea couldn’t come at a worse time for China.

China Willing to ‘Pay a Price’ for Stronger North Korea Sanctions

James Griffiths and Serenitie Wang
CNN
China is willing to take the economic hit of greater sanctions on North Korea, a top official said Monday, as Washington continues to pressure Beijing on the issue.

Doubts over New ‘Compromise’ UN Sanctions on North Korea as China Emerges Unscathed

Shi Jingtao
South China Morning Post
Beijing scored diplomatic points with its endorsement of tougher United Nations sanctions against North Korea, avoiding a showdown with Washington over Pyongyang’s repeated nuclear provocations.

China Welcomes U.S. Seeking Dialogue with North Korea

Michael Martina
Reuters
China on Thursday welcomed comments by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that the United States does not seek to topple the North Korean government and would like dialogue with Pyongyang at some point, saying China had always supported talks.

Books

08.01.17

Globalization against Democracy

Guoguang Wu
Globalization has reconfigured both the external institutional framework and the intrinsic operating mechanisms of capitalism. The global triumph of capitalism implies the embracing of the market by the state in all its variants, and that global capitalism is not confined to the shell of nation-state democracy. Guoguang Wu provides a theoretical framework of global capitalism for specialists in political economy, political science, economics, and international relations, for graduate and undergraduate courses on globalization, capitalism, development, and democracy, as well as for the public who are interested in globalization. Wu examines the new institutional features of global capitalism and how they re-frame movements of capital, labor, and consumption. He explores how globalization has created a chain of connection in which capital depends on effective authoritarianism, while democracy depends on capital. Ultimately, he argues that the emerging state-market nexus has fundamentally shaken the existing institutional systems, harming democracy in the process. —Cambridge University Press{chop}

Britain and Australia Urge China to Do More on North Korea Threat

Reuters
Earlier this month North Korea, which has warned Australia could be the target of a strike, said it had conducted its first test of an intercontinental ballistic missile, which experts say could reach Alaska.

Does North Korea Sanctions Bill Risk US-China Relationship?

James Griffiths
CNN
The US may target Chinese companies as part of new North Korea sanctions, an administration official said this week, even as diplomats are working with Beijing at the UN to reach a new international agreement.

Why is China Reinforcing its Border With North Korea?

James Griffiths, Serenitie Wang
CNN
China is further fortifying its border with North Korea, new reports show, amid continued tensions on the peninsula and concerns over potential US military action against Pyongyang.

An ‘Alternative Future’ for the Korean Peninsula

Paul Haenle & Evans Revere from Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy
Despite widespread international condemnation of North Korea’s recent intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) test, strategic distrust and misperceptions continue to impede deeper cooperation between the United States and China on the nuclear...

Sinica Podcast

07.24.17

Straight Talk on North Korea and China

Jeremy Goldkorn & Kaiser Kuo from Sinica Podcast
Lyle Goldstein, an associate professor and strategic researcher at the U.S. Naval War College’s China Maritime Studies Institute, is an expert on Chinese and Russian security strategies. He is also an insightful commentator on what is going on...

Viewpoint

07.22.17

Why Korean Reunification is in China’s Strategic National Interest

Jamie Metzl
North Korea’s July 4 launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile has highlighted once again both the extent to which Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program and aggressive behavior is destabilizing the Asia Pacific region and the relative impotence...

China Says ‘China Responsibility Theory’ on North Korea Has to Stop

Ben Blanchard
Reuters
China hit back on Tuesday in unusually strong terms at repeated calls from the United States to put more pressure on North Korea, urging a halt to what it called the “China responsibility theory,” and saying all parties needed to pull their weight.

Haley Says China May Face Trade Sanctions If It Continues To “Hold Hands” with N. Korea

Kathryn Watson
CBS News
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said the U.S. is going to “push hard” against China amid threats from North Korea, and that China needs to do more when it comes to the country that just days ago test-launched an intercontinental...

Viewpoint

07.09.17

Why Won’t China Help With North Korea? Remember 1956

Sergey Radchenko
President Donald J. Trump’s short-lived honeymoon with Chinese Communist Party Secretary Xi Jinping is over. On June 29, the U.S. imposed sanctions on a Chinese bank, a Chinese shipping company, and two Chinese nationals, all accused of helping...

How China Misread Donald Trump

Paul Gewirtz
Politico
Trump’s view of China is quickly turning sour. The reason for his dwindling patience is Beijing’s failure to rein in North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s nuclear program.

US, China Divided over How to Deal with New North Korean ICBM Threat

Ben Wescott and Stella Kim
CNN
A paradigm-changing North Korean missile test has left the United States and China split over how to deal with the aggressive rogue state.

Depth of Field

06.29.17

Love, Robots, and Fireworks

Ye Ming, Yan Cong & more from Yuanjin Photo
Included in this Depth of Field column are stories of love, community, remembrance, and the future, told through the discerning eyes of some of China’s best photojournalists. Among them, the lives of African migrants in Guangzhou, seven years inside...

New U.S. Ambassador to China Says North Korea a Top Priority

Christian Shepherd
Reuters
The new U.S. ambassador to China has said that stopping the threat posed by North Korea will be a top priority, along with resolving the U.S.-China trade imbalance, according to a video message to the Chinese people released on Monday.

Trump Says ‘We Have a Great Relationship with China’ after Critical Tweet

CNBC
The United States pressed China to exert more economic and diplomatic pressure on North Korea to help rein in its nuclear and missile programs during a round of high-level talks in Washington on Wednesday.

China’s Trump Honeymoon: Unexpected, and at Risk of Ending

Steven Lee Myers
New York Times
Mr. Trump’s assertion that China had failed to pressure North Korea into curbing its nuclear and ballistic missile program means that Beijing must now confront the prospect of a stormier relationship ahead — not just over North Korea but also...

U.S., China Meet on North Korea after Trump Points to Failed Chinese Effort

David Brunnstrom
Reuters
Top diplomats and defense chiefs from the United States and China began a day of talks in Washington on Wednesday looking for ways to press North Korea to give up its nuclear and missile programs.

China: Otto Warmbier’s Death ‘Unfortunate’

China on Tuesday (June 20) expressed sorrow over the death of US student Otto Warmbier following his release from North Korea in a coma, and urged Washington and Pyongyang to resolve tensions through dialogue. “I think this is an unfortunate thing...

China Renews Call for Seoul to Halt THAAD amid ‘Shocking’ News of New Launchers

CNBC
China’s state-owned media on Thursday criticized reports new THAAD anti-missile launchers were secretly brought into South Korea without approval from the Seoul government.

North Korea: Is China Trying Hard Enough to Stop Pyongyang Threat?

Fox News
Recent actions by South Korea President Moon Jae-in and China’s President Xi Jinping have raised questions about the sincerity of both countries in helping the U.S. reign in North Korea’s nuclear program.

Can South Korea and China Patch Things up over THAAD?

James Griffiths
CNN
Moon will be attempting to start the healing process Thursday, when South Korean special presidential envoy Lee Hae-chan meets with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, and two more senior officials Friday.

Books

05.15.17

A World Trimmed with Fur

Jonathan Schlesinger
In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, booming demand for natural resources transformed China and its frontiers. Historians of China have described this process in stark terms: pristine borderlands became breadbaskets. Yet Manchu and Mongolian archives reveal a different story. Well before homesteaders arrived, wild objects from the far north became part of elite fashion, and unprecedented consumption had exhausted the region’s most precious resources.In A World Trimmed with Fur, Jonathan Schlesinger uses these diverse archives to reveal how Qing rule witnessed not the destruction of unspoiled environments, but their invention. Qing frontiers were never pristine in the nineteenth century—pearlers had stripped riverbeds of mussels, mushroom pickers had uprooted the steppe, and fur-bearing animals had disappeared from the forest. In response, the court turned to “purification”; it registered and arrested poachers, reformed territorial rule, and redefined the boundary between the pristine and the corrupted. Schlesinger’s resulting analysis provides a framework for rethinking the global invention of nature. —Stanford University Press{chop}

Why China Will Never Put America First

J. Michael Cole
National Interest
The Trump administration will eventually awaken to the fact that Beijing cannot, and has no desire to, deliver on North Korea.

Trump’s Pretty Good China Deal

Wall Street Journal
Wilbur Ross made some startling claims after Thursday’s announcement of a 10-point agreement with China on trade. The U.S. Commerce Secretary boasted that the “herculean accomplishment” was “more than has been done in the whole history of U.S.-China...

South Korea’s New President Moves to Soothe Tensions with China

CHOE SANG-HUN
New York Times
Moon Jae-in, the newly elected leader of South Korea, moved swiftly to mend ties with China on Thursday, announcing plans to dispatch a delegation to Beijing to resolve a festering dispute over the deployment of an American missile-defense system in...

China’s Missile Tests in Bohai ‘Aimed at THAAD’

Minnie Chan
South China Morning Post
Chinese rocket forces tested a new type of missile aimed at the country’s waters west of the Korean peninsula, the defense ministry announced in a rare public statement. The statement did not say what missile was tested or when the launch took place...

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...

As U.S. And China Find Common Ground on North Korea, Is Russia the Wild Card?

JAMES PEARSON
Reuters
When North Korean leader Kim Jong Un sent Lunar New Year greetings this year, the first card went to Russian President Vladimir Putin, ahead of leaders from China and other allies of the isolated country, according to its official news agency.

Trump’s Pick for Ambassador to China Says He Will Work with Beijing on North Korea

Anne Gearan
Washington Post
President Trump’s choice to be ambassador to China pledged Tuesday to leverage a personal relationship with Chinese President Xi Jinping to persuade China that it is risking its own security if it fails to prevent a nuclear crisis with North Korea.

Holiday Hush as Chinese Tourists Shun South Korean Resort Island amid THAAD Missile Shield Row

liu zhen
South China Morning Post
During the May Day holiday, the Jeju Cruise Terminal in South Korea used to be packed with thousands of passengers from the ports of Shanghai, Tianjin and Qingdao disembarking from large cruise liners and boarding their tourist buses.

China Tried to Hack Group Linked to Controversial Missile Defense System, U.S. Cybersecurity Firm Says

Joshua Berlinger, Juliet Perry
A cybersecurity firm in the United States believes state-sponsored Chinese hackers were trying to infiltrate an organization with connections to a U.S.-built missile system in South Korea that Beijing firmly opposes.

China Is Crushing South Korea’s Tourism Industry

Alec Macfarlane
CNN
Pro tip for countries looking to keep their tourism numbers up: Don’t annoy China. That’s the lesson South Korea is learning the hard way. The country suffered a 40% plunge in Chinese visitors last month, according to the Korea Tourism Organization.

U.S., Russia and China: A Tale of Big Egos, Profound Mistrust and Foolish Nationalism

Joseph Camilleri, La Trobe University
ABC
Mr Trump’s first 100 days as President have dramatically demonstrated this failure. For all the rhetoric about “making America great again”, Mr Trump is rapidly discovering the US has limited capacity to impose its will on the rest of world.

Conversation

04.25.17

What's the Best Way for Trump to Persuade China to Up the Pressure on North Korea?

Michael Swaine, Bruce Klingner & more
China’s President Xi Jinping called U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday morning urging American restraint in reaction to North Korea. Tensions between the United States and North Korea have risen to new levels ever since Pyongyang’s April 16...