China-North Korea relations have often been described as “Lips and Teeth” and China is considered to be the closest ally of this reclusive state. China remains the major source of fuel, food and foreign investment to North Korea. As a result, it is generally understood that China has substantial leverage and control over Pyongyang which Beijing can use to denuclearise North Korea. However, there are serious differences between these two countries over several issues and the “Hermit Kingdom” is increasingly becoming a burden for the leadership in China. For China peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula is an area of its “national interest.” But the recent developments on the Korean Peninsula are detrimental to China’s interest. Despite China’s opposition North Korea continues to develop more sophisticated weapons of mass destruction and increase the range of its ballistic missiles. On the other hand, the deployment of anti-ballistic missile system called Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) by the United States in South Korea is also being vehemently opposed by China. An armed conflict on the Korean Peninsula or a collapse of the North Korean regime will have serious consequences for China’s security and national interest. This presentation makes an analysis of China’s relations with North Korea in the milieu of rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
About the Speaker
Dr. Ranjit Kumar Dhawan is Assistant Professor of Korean Studies at the Department of East Asian Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Delhi, India. He has received his PhD degree from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India. He was awarded Gold Prize by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, South Korea in an international essay contest on “Korea’s National Image” in 2012 and received Research Grant from the Graduate School of Korean Studies, The Academy of Korean Studies, South Korea during 2013-14. He has published articles in The Korea Times, Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies, Area Studies Journal, World Affairs Journal and Tamkang Journal of International Affairs. He has recently published a book titled The Politics of the Welfare State in South Korea (Manak Publications, 2017). Dr. Dhawan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org