The Evolving PRC-DPRK Relations: Insights from New Data on Bilateral Interactions

Bonnie Glasser
30 May 2019

China has enduring interests on the Koren Peninsula, including: (1) preserving peace; (2) averting instability; (3) preventing unification under US influence and with the continued presence of sizable US military forces; and, if possible, (4) eliminating nuclear weapons. The prospects of an end to the post-Korean War stalemate on the Peninsula poses both risks and opportunities for China. After a long period of high-level disengagement between Chinese and North Korean leaders, Xi Jinping and Kim Jong Un held four summits in the past year. While much attention has been paid to these leadership meetings, there has been less focus on lower level bilateral interactions between China and North Korea. Those interactions provide insight into how China manages its relationship with North Korea and how it seeks to influence developments on the Peninsula. For Beijing, enhancing Chinese influence on the Korean Peninsula is important because the long-term strategic orientation of the Peninsula is pivotal in terms of the balance of power in the region between China and the United States. Bonnie Glaser will discuss recent developments in China’s relations with North Korea. She will present new data to contextualist China’s changing relationship with North Korea.

About the Speaker: Bonnie S. Glaser is a senior adviser for Asia and the director of the China Power Project at CSIS, where she works on issues related to Asia-Pacific security with a focus on Chinese foreign and security policy. She is concomitantly a nonresident fellow with the Lowy Institute in Sydney, Australia, and a senior associate with the Pacific Forum. Ms. Glaser has worked for more than three decades at the intersection of Asia-Pacific geopolitics and U.S. policy. From 2008 to mid-2015, she was a senior adviser with the CSIS Freeman Chair in China Studies, and from 2003 to 2008, she was a senior associate in the CSIS International Security Program. Prior to joining CSIS, she served as a consultant for various U.S. government offices, including the Departments of Defense and State. Ms. Glaser has published widely in academic and policy journals, including the Washington QuarterlyChina QuarterlyAsian SurveyInternational SecurityContemporary Southeast AsiaAmerican Foreign Policy InterestsFar Eastern Economic Review, and Korean Journal of Defense Analysis, as well as in leading newspapers such as the New York Times and International Herald Tribuneand in various edited volumes on Asian security. She is also a regular contributor to the Pacific Forum web journal Comparative Connections. She is currently a board member of the U.S. Committee of the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific and a member of both the Council on Foreign Relations and the International Institute for Strategic Studies. She served as a member of the Defense Department’s Defense Policy Board China Panel in 1997. Ms. Glaser received her B.A. in political science from Boston University and her M.A.with concentrations in international economics and Chinese studies from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

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