North Korea Diplomacy and U.S.-China Relations

A China in the World Podcast

In this crossover episode between Sinica Podcast and China in the World Podcast, Paul Haenle joined Kaiser Kuo, Editor-at-Large of SupChina, to discuss next steps for Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (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 six-party talks in the Bush administration. He said China’s relations with North Korea reached a historic low in 2017 due to the leadership’s frustration with Pyongyang’s provocative nuclear and missile tests, leading to Beijing’s increased willingness to join the international maximum pressure campaign. Haenle argued the Singapore summit reduced U.S. leverage with North Korea and produced a vague statement which failed to advance denuclearization. On the U.S.-China trade dispute, Haenle urged the Trump administration to work closely with U.S. allies who share concerns about China’s industrial policies, market access restrictions, and intellectual property rights violations. He expressed concern over the lack of a comprehensive U.S. strategy toward China, especially with regard to cross-Strait relations and the Belt and Road Initiative.