China Denies Preparing for North Korean Collapse

Tania Brannigan
Guardian
Experts say leaked contingency plans, which include the detention of leaders and establishment of refugee camps, may be valid but do not suggest that the alliance is weakening.

China Faults Report Blaming North Korean Leader for Atrocities

Gerry Mullany And Nick Cumming-Bruce
New York Times
Chinese officials criticized a United Nations report serving notice to Kim Jong-un that he might be personally held liable in court for crimes against humanity.

China Set to Press North Korea Further on Nuclear Aims, Kerry Says

Michael R. Gordon
New York Times
Mr. Kerry urged President Xi Jinping and senior Chinese officials to “use every tool at their disposal” to persuade North Korea to rethink its decision to be a nuclear power. 

Is North Korea Unwinding Economic Ties With China?

Christina Larson
Businessweek
These are grim days not only for the friends and family of recently executed North Korean official Jang Song Thaek, but also for people and programs he had supported—including economic relations with China, which Jang had overseen.

Propaganda Artists From North Korea Paint a Rose-Tinted China

Oliver Wainwright
Guardian
Thrusting China's contemporary icons into the aesthetic landscape of early Communist propaganda provides a striking image of quite how far the country has come since Deng Xiaoping began his policy of Reform and Opening in 1978. ...

Postcard

08.08.13

Portraits of the Faceless

Katharina Hesse & David M. Barreda
Nine years ago, photographer Katharina Hesse began to make portraits of North Korean defectors. To protect their identities she asked only that they “give something” of themselves to the photographs. Her subjects bury their faces in their hands, or...

Chinese VP’s Visit to North Korea Prompts Détente Watch

WSJ: China Real Time Report
All eyes will be watching for signs of détente over North Korea’s nuclear-weapons program when Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao becomes the highest-ranking among China’s new leadership to visit Pyongyang this week.

Chinese VP’s Visit to North Korea Prompts Détente Watch

WSJ: China Real Time Report
The visit comes directly after China and the U.S. held their annual Strategic & Economic Dialogue in Washington, in which how to handle North Korea was a major area of discussion, although the two countries still have not agreed on a course...

China and South Korea Reaffirm Efforts Aimed at North

Choe Sang-Hun
New York Times
A joint statement issued after the meeting between the leaders, President Xi Jinping of China and President Park Geun-hye of South Korea, said they had agreed on the importance of faithfully carrying out United Nations Security Council resolutions...

U.S. and China Pledge New Model of Cooperation

Jackie Calmes and Steven Lee Myers
New York Times
The two presidents appeared eager to redefine the relationship in a way that would allow their countries to overcome their economic, political and diplomatic differences, rather than letting new — or old — crises derail progress. 

‘Escape From North Korea’ (Video)

Ann Shin
New York Times
In this Op-Doc video, Ann Shin profiles a smuggler named Dragon, who charges North Korean defectors for guiding them through China and Southeast Asia into eventual asylum and safety in South Korea. 

In China, U.S. Top Military Officer Defends U.S. Pivot To Asia

Terril Yue Jones
Reuters
“We seek to be a stabilizing influence in the region,” Dempsey said at a news conference at China’s Ministry of National Defense. “In fact, we believe it would be our absence that would be destabilizing in the region, not our presence.” 

China To Send North Korea Envoy To Washington

Reuters
China will send its special envoy on North Korea to the United States next week for talks on maintaining peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, the foreign ministry said on Friday.   

Challenges Mount For China’s President

Bill Bishop
Deal Book
Whatever honeymoon President Xi Jinping of China may have been having appears to be over. Now the president must grapple with the H7N9 virus, tensions over North Korea, an economic slowdown, corruption, and a host of other issues. 

Kerry: China Must Do More To Resolve N. Korean Missile Crisis

Andrea Mitchell and Ian Johnson
NBC News
Kerry believes that the instability created by Pyongyang’s belligerence is enough to push China to intervene more thoroughly; if China does not, Kerry says the U.S. will open direct talks with North Korea.

Kerry In China To Seek Help In Korea Crisis

Michael R. Gordon
New York Times
Mr. Kerry suggested that the United States could remove some newly enhanced missile defenses in the region, though he did not specify which ones. Any eventual cutback would address Chinese concerns about the buildup of American weapons systems in...

North Korean Leader Strains Ties With Chinese

Jane Perlez
New York Times
How far the alliance between the powerhouse China and the impoverished North Korea has soured is now debated openly in the Chinese news media. Few call it a serious rift, though a spirited debate is under way within the Chinese government over how...

What Kerry Should Tell China

Shen Dingli
Foreign Policy
On April 13, 2013, when John Kerry pays his first visit to China as the U.S. secretary of state, North Korea will be at the top of his agenda, with Iran’s nuclear program and cyberattacks also extremely important. 

Missiles And Memorial Stones: Figuring Out North Korea And China

Didi Kristen Tatlow
International Herald Tribune
Some are speculating that China is trying to ensure that U.S.-North Korean relations remain terrible, as they are, therefore increasing its influence over the region, politically, economically and strategically. 

China’s Xi Signals Limited Shift Away From North Korea

Peter Ford
Christian Science Monitor
The current situation, in which North Korea has threatened the US and its ally South Korea with nuclear strikes, is “a golden opportunity for the US and China to work together and build mutual trust.”  

Korea Crisis: How Much Influence Does China Have?

Martin Patience
BBC
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has appealed to North Korea to change course, saying it has "gone too far." In this video, Martin Patience reports China’s options as Pyongyang’s rhetoric gets more volatile. ...

Can N. Korea Learn From Coca Cola? (China Did)

Evan Osnos
New Yorker
“The military-first regime derives support from the public perception that it is feared and respected around the world. So international ridicule may well put the regime under more pressure to carry through on at least some of its rhetoric.”&...

Yongbyon Restart: North Korea Ramps Up Nuclear Tension

Mark Fitzpatrick
BBC
 Until now, Pyongyang had clung to the transparent fiction that it only had a peaceful rationale.The new element in the announcement is North Korea's acknowledgement that the uranium enrichment is for weapons use. ...

Infographics

04.09.13

China, North Korea, and Nuclear Arms

Ouyang Bin, David M. Barreda & more
As tensions again escalate on the Korean Peninsula, ChinaFile examines more than a decade of developments in North Korea’s nuclear armaments program. We begin our timeline in late 2002, when China first joined diplomatic discussions, paving the...

Conversation

04.09.13

Is China Doing All It Can to Rein in Kim Jong-un?

Winston Lord, Susan Shirk & more
Winston Lord:No. 

Viewpoint

04.05.13

Christopher Hill on North Korea’s Provocations

Ouyang Bin
The first months of 2013 have seen a rapid intensification of combative rhetoric and action from North Korea. In the sixteen months since Kim Jong-un assumed leadership of the country, North Korea has run through the whole litany of provocations his...

South Korea Says China Hack Link A ‘Mistake’

BBC
Hackers can route their attacks through addresses in other countries and intelligence experts believe that North Korea routinely uses Chinese computer addresses to hide its cyber-attacks. 

U.N. Resolution To Aim At North Korean Banks and Diplomats

Rick Gladstone
New York Times
The United States and China introduced a resolution that would tighten inspections of suspect ship and air cargo and subject the country’s diplomats to invasive scrutiny and increased risk of expulsion. 

Conversation

03.06.13

Are Proposed Sanctions on North Korea a Hopeful Sign for U.S.-China Relations?

Orville Schell, Susan Shirk & more
Orville Schell:What may end up being most significant about the new draft resolution in the U.N. Security Council to impose stricter sanctions on North Korea, which China seems willing to sign, may not be what it amounts to in terms of...

Does China Have An Army Of Hackers?

Evan Osnos
New Yorker
The accumulated evidence should retire the old notion that China’s most sophisticated hackers are just patriots freelancing from their parents’ basements.

Illicit Meth Trade Between China and North Korea Reveals A Lot About Their Relationship

Economist
Border police, especially in the North, are known to take bribes to allow illicit trade to pass. One illegal North Korean export causing social problems is crystal meth, a drug known in China as bingdu, or “ice.”

Nuclear Test Sparks Chinese Radiation Fears

Li Qiyan
Wall Street Journal
Chinese authorities are moving to tamp down public worries about radiation less than a week after North Korea set off a nuclear test not far from their common border.

Media

02.15.13

Free Coffee for North Korea?

Ouyang Bin & Zhang Xiaoran
What should China do to persuade its moody ally North Korea to comply with international restrictions on its nuclear ambitions?“Free conference rooms, free coffee, free soft drinks and dessert,” was the surprising and quickly viral Internet...

North Korea, China Do Their Usual Dance

Joseph Bosco
Christian Science Monitor
North Korea and China have done it again—call it the Pyongyang-Beijing two-step. Though Beijing registered ‘firm opposition’ to North Korea’s nuclear weapons test, it is unlikely to exercise its unique leverage on North Korea to encourage change.

North Korea Nuclear Test Irks Ally China

David Pierson and Ken Dilanian
Los Angeles Times
The test, held during a major Chinese holiday, is seen as a slap in the face to Beijing. But experts say China has more to lose by downgrading its bumpy ties.

Conversation

02.13.13

North Korea: How Much More Will China Take and How Should the U.S. Respond?

Winston Lord, Tai Ming Cheung & more
China is increasingly frustrated with North Korea and may even see more clearly that its actions only serve to increase allied unity, stimulate Japanese militarism and accelerate missile defense. For all these reasons the U.S. should lean on Beijing...

Not a Shred of Face: China Reacts to North Korean Nuke Test

Josh Chin
Wall Street Journal
Is Kim Jong Eun deliberately trying to insult China? That was the question on the minds of some Chinese following a nuclear test in North Korea that left even the Hermit Kingdom’s closest ally feeling flustered.

Beijing Slams U.S. Sanctions on Chinese Companies

Teddy Ng
South China Morning Post
Beijing has denounced U.S. sanctions imposed on four Chinese companies and one individual last week for allegedly breaching a U.S. law designed to hamper the development of weapons of mass destruction by Iran, North Korea or Syria.

North Korea’s Nuclear Test: Are You Listening America?

Economist
EARS shut to the impending chorus of international condemnation, North Korea conducted its third nuclear test on February 12th. It said the detonation was of a “smaller and light” atomic bomb that was different from its previous two, and that it had...

Nuclear Test Poses Big Challenge to China’s New Leader

Jane Perlez
New York Times
North Korea's nuclear test in defiance of China’s warnings leaves that country’s new leader, Xi Jinping, with a choice: Does he upset North Korea just a bit by agreeing to stepped up United Nations sanctions, or does he rattle the regime by...

China Wouldn’t Mind a Unified Korea--Just Not Yet

Matt Schiavenza
Atlantic
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, China has had the dubious distinction of being North Korea’s only ally and friend on the world stage.

China Urges Cautious U.N. Resolution on North Korea

Ben Blanchard
Reuters
China says the United Nations Security Council need pass a cautious resolution on North Korea's December rocket launch, saying that was the way to ensure regional tensions do not escalate further...

A New Opportunity for China-South Korea Relations Under Park Geun-hye and Xi Jinping?

Scott A. Snyder
Council on Foreign Relations
South Korea and China are natural economic partners, but North Korea continues to rear its head as a challenging sticking point between the two sides.

Media

01.16.13

Their Horizons Widening, China’s Web Users Look Abroad — And Want More

Last week, Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt urged North Korean leaders to embrace the Internet. Only a small proportion of that country’s 24 million people can access the World Wide Web, and the majority of the 1.5 million mobile phones there...

How Onion Spoof Slipped Past China's Humor-challenged Great Firewall

Alexa Olesen
Associated Press
A spoof article about North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un being the sexiest man alive ended up a real news item in China as a result of Chinese whispers in the digital age.

People’s Daily Quotes the Onion: Kim Jong Eun ‘Sexiest Man Alive’

Carlos Tejada and John Chin
Wall Street Journal
Top Communist newspaper cited American satirical paper's slide show of North Korean leader...

Reports

09.27.12

China Analysis: Gaming North Korea

Nathan Beauchamp-Mustafaga, Antoine Bondaz, François Godement, and David Péneau
European Council on Foreign Relations
China and North Korea have had an uneasy relationship in recent years. While the PRC has sometimes played the role of buffer state in North Korea’s dealings with the United States, South Korea, and other nations, Chinese leaders have also expressed...

Why China Props Up the Rogue State Next Door

ANDREI LANKOV
Foreign Policy
For those who worry about North Korea, the past few months can best be described as a time of quiet despair. Since North Korea reneged on the "Leap Day" food aid deal in March by announcing the test of a long-range rocket (the test later...

China Hires Tens of Thousands of North Korean Guest Workers

Barbara Demick
Los Angeles Times
China is quietly inviting tens of thousands of North Korean guest workers into the country in a deal that will provide a cash infusion to help prop up a teetering regime with little more to export than the drudgery of a desperately poor population.

North Korea Tests China's Patience

Jane Perlez
New York Times
As Kim Jong-un, the young leader of North Korea, consolidates his grip on power, China is showing signs of increasing frustration at the bellicose behavior of its longtime ally.

Sinica Podcast

09.16.11

North Korea: Open for Business?

Jeremy Goldkorn, Edward Wong & more from Sinica Podcast
As the guillotine of debt contagion hangs over Europe, financial pressures in Asia have led an unexpected player to make a strategic shift. After months of escalating tensions with South Korea have shuttered its opportunities for expanded trade...

Sinica Podcast

12.03.10

The Wikileaks Revelations

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
In the first of what will likely be many podcasts discussing some of the latest China-related revelations contained in the recent Wikileaks data-dump, our discussion today turns towards North Korea and Chinese diplomatic overtures suggesting that...

Reports

01.22.10

China-North Korea Relations

Dick K. Nanto, Mark E. Manyin, Kerry Dumbaugh
Peony Lui
Congressional Research Service
The People’s Republic of China (PRC) plays a key role in U.S. policy toward the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK or North Korea). The PRC is North Korea’s closest ally, largest provider of food, fuel, and industrial machinery, and...

Reports

11.02.09

Shades of Red: China’s Debate Over North Korea

International Crisis Group
North Korea has created a number of foreign policy dilemmas for China. The latest round of provocations makes Beijing’s balancing act between supporting a traditional ally and responding to its dangerous brinkmanship more difficult, especially when...

Reports

04.12.08

Denied Status, Denied Education: Children of North Korean Women in China

Human Rights Watch
This report delves into the situation of the children of undocumented North Korean refugees and Chinese nationals in the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture. It explains that many children of North Korean parents are not able to be registered with...