October 31, 2020

Expert survey: Is China’s pull over North Korea exaggerated?

Chinese experts insist Beijing can’t make the North change course – and is worried of what would happen if it tried

The South Korean president is warming up to her Chinese counterpart. The international community is making requests of China to take a firmer stance. Even human rights reports mention China’s repatriation policy.

It would seem there is an underlying assumption behind all of these events: that China can change North Korean behavior, that it’s lack of support would be the end of the Kim regime, or at least cause it to favor the South. However, a survey of Chinese experts finds that they don’t believe China a) can make the North Koreans change course, or b) would like to see what would happen if they tried to force them to change their ways.