'North Korea Is the Biggest Threat to All Humankind.' U.S. Ambassador to China Terry Branstad Talks to TIME

Time
Tucked between northeastern Beijing’s third and fourth ring-roads, the U.S. Embassy in China is a squat complex of silver-gray buildings, with the ambassador’s office on the fourth floor.

Stability and Strategy: Why Is China So Easy on North Korea?

CNBC
While the world watches North Korea test yet another missile in defiance of international sanctions and warnings, China continues to be a friend to Kim Jong Un's regime...

Breaking Down Trump’s Visit to Asia

Paul Haenle & Daniel R. Russel from Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy
What is the future of geopolitics and U.S. engagement in the Asia-Pacific following President Donald Trump’s first official state visit to the region? In this podcast, Paul Haenle sat down with Daniel Russel, former Special Assistant to President...

Air China Indefinitely Suspends Flights between Beijing and Pyongyang

Reuters
Air China Ltd has indefinitely suspended flights between Beijing and Pyongyang, citing poor demand as North Korea faces growing sanctions from the United States over its nuclear weapons and missile programs.

Air China Indefinitely Suspends Flights between Beijing and Pyongyang

Reuters
Air China Ltd has indefinitely suspended flights between Beijing and Pyongyang, citing poor demand as North Korea faces growing sanctions from the United States over its nuclear weapons and missile programs.

Donald Trump's Unwitting Surrender to China

Edward Luce
Financial Times
Sixty years ago Russia shocked the world with the launch of the Sputnik satellite. Donald Trump was 11 years old.

The North Korean Nuclear Threat: The View From Beijing

Paul Haenle & Jen Psaki from Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy
North Korea was atop the list of priorities for President Donald Trump during his first visit to China, but it remains to be seen how much substantive progress was made on bringing parties closer to a dialogue aimed at denuclearizing the Korean...

Trump Hails China's North Korea Envoy as 'Big Move' but Experts Doubtful

Ben Westcott
CNN
US President Donald Trump has hailed the Chinese government sending an envoy to North Korea Friday as a "big move" in the wake of his five-country trip to Asia...

China Appears to Have Crossed Trump on North Korea

Business Insider
After a 12-day trip to Asia in which President Donald Trump stressed his friendship and mutual understanding with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Beijing appears to have crossed Trump on a key issue: North Korea.

Media

11.15.17

What Happened When Trump Met Xi?

Bonnie S. Glaser, Daniel R. Russel & more
An edited transcript of “ChinaFile Presents: What Happened When Trump Met Xi?” a discussion of Donald Trump’s five-country trip to Asia with Daniel Russel, Bonnie Glaser, and Orville Schell, moderated by Susan Jakes. The panel took place at Asia...

Trump Touts 'Great Chemistry' with China's Xi as Leaders Agree to Closer Ties

NPR
President Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping say they have agreed to work together on the denuclearization of North Korea and closer cooperation on trade.

China’s Xi Fetes Trump on First Day of Beijing Trip

Phillip Wen and Steve Holland
Reuters
With lavish pageantry and an uncharacteristic personal flourish, Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday rolled out a red carpet welcome for U.S President Donald Trump at the Forbidden City, the ancient home of China’s emperors.

Trump, in China, Seeks Help Over a Nuclear North Korea

Mark Landler and Jane Perlez
New York Times
President Trump arrived in China on Wednesday, primed to ask his host, President Xi Jinping, to step up Chinese pressure on North Korea over its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. But Mr. Trump’s latest foray into personal diplomacy may end in...

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...

Exclusive: China Curbs Tourism to North Korea Ahead of Trump Visit

Sue-Lin Wong and James Pearson
Reuters
Chinese tour operators based in the border city of Dandong have been told to halt trips to the North Korean capital Pyongyang, five sources told Reuters on Tuesday, the day before U.S. President Donald Trump’s first official visit to China.

China Bank Barred from US Financial System over North Korea Ties

Financial Times
The U.S. Treasury department has severed a small Chinese bank’s ties with the U.S. financial system over its alleged support for North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.

Conversation

11.02.17

Trump Goes to Asia

Ely Ratner, David Dollar & more
Chinese officials like to talk about practicing “win-win” diplomacy. Their American counterparts sometime joke that this means China wins twice. From November 3 to November 14, Donald Trump will visit Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, the Philippines,...

Chinese Scientists Warn North Korea about Disaster Threat at Nuclear Test Site

Stephen Chen
South China Morning Post
Chinese geologists have warned their North Korean counterparts of a potential catastrophic collapse of a North Korean underground nuclear test site on China’s doorstep.

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.

China’s Challenges Abroad: How Do You Solve a Problem Like North Korea?

Scott Snyder
Forbes
The importance of the Chinese Communist Party’s 19th party congress to the future of Xi Jinping’s leadership and the direction of China has paralyzed policy debates on many issues, including North Korea. The paralysis has persisted despite the...

China September Exports up 8.1%, Imports up 18.7% as Trade with North Korea Slides

CNBC
China reported strong trade data on Friday just days ahead of a major Communist Party Congress.

Waiting Game for North Korean Workers in China as Shutdown Deadline Looms

Stuart Lau Choi Chi-yuk
South China Morning Post
On a quiet street in the embassy district of Beijing, a neon-lit national flag forms an impressive backdrop to an almost empty North Korean restaurant as young waitresses sent from Pyongyang stand around waiting for customers.

North Korea’s Diplomats in Africa Are Making Big Money Selling Ivory to Chinese Consumers

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
The tightening of international sanctions against North Korea is helping to fuel the illicit ivory trade in Africa as the increasingly isolated country searches for new ways to generate revenue, according to a new report from the Global Initiative...

White House Again Rejects Talks with North Korea on Nuclear Issue

Steve Holland
Reuters
The White House on Monday ruled out talks with North Korea except to discuss the fate of Americans held there, again appearing to rebuke Secretary of State Rex Tillerson who said Washington was directly communicating with Pyongyang on its nuclear...

China's Real Reasons for Enforcing North Korea Sanctions: Trump, Party Congress

Nyshka Chandran
CNBC
Washington has praised the world's second-largest economy for making progress in enforcing sanctions imposed on North Korea. But China's current measures may just be a temporary move for its own gain...

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.

As Sanctions Bite, North Korean Workers Leave Chinese Border Hub

Philip Wen
Reuters
Almost 100,000 overseas workers, based predominantly in China and Russia, funnel some $500 million in wages a year to help finance the North Korean regime, the U.S. government says.

Tillerson Masters the Art of Comity in Talks with China Leaders

Nick Wadhams
Bloomberg
Rex Tillerson made a show of harmony with Chinese leaders during a whirlwind visit to Beijing, skipping over tensions around trade and North Korea to emphasize the personal bond between the countries’ presidents.

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...

U.S. Directly Communicating with North Korea, Seeks Dialogue

Phil Stewart, Ben Blanchard
Reuters
The disclosure by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson during a trip to China represented the first time he has spoken to such an extent about U.S. outreach to North Korea over its pursuit of a nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missile.

China to Shut down North Korean Companies

BBC
China has told North Korean companies operating in its territory to close down as it implements United Nations sanctions against the reclusive state.

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...

China to Trump: That Speech on North Korea Was Really Unhelpful

Simon Denyer
Washington Post
China rebuked President Trump on Wednesday after he threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea if necessary, a warning that may have undermined the chances of peace but also gave Beijing an easy opportunity to seize the moral high ground.

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.