Korean peninsula in China's grand strategy : China's role in dealing with North Korea's nuclear quandary
Chung, Chong Wook
Date of Issue2010
S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
The unprecedented rise of China raises difficult challenges of double-edged nature to both China and its neighbours in Northeast Asia. The nuclear program of North Korea is an outstanding example. The reform and open policy China has adopted since the late 80s mandated the Beijing government to adopt a policy of active engagement with its former adversaries, straining its ties with the former allies like North Korea. Pyongyang’s persistent efforts for a nuclear option may represent a hedging strategy against the changing security environment, but for China, it creates multiple predicaments including the management of its relations with the US, Japan and South Korea. The proactive role China has been playing in the process of the multi-lateral negotiation for a peaceful resolution of the nuclear quandary, particularly the Six-Party Talks, is an interesting case with important lessons to learn. This working paper argues that China’s increasingly active role in the multi-lateral efforts to resolve the North Korean nuclear issue has proceeded in tandem with its grand strategy of engaging in regional and global governance as a responsible stakeholder. Also, by examining the problems China confronted in the process, the paper intends to demonstrate the limitations in China’s role to promote stable security environment in the region.
RSIS Working Papers ; 192/10