North Korea’s Defiance May Reshape China’s Strategic Calculus

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For the past four years, China has consistently shielded North Korea from efforts to impose further international sanctions and to heighten Pyongyang’s diplomatic isolation in response to Pyongyang’s repeated provocations on the Korean Peninsula. That support, however, did not stop North Korea from conducting its third nuclear test earlier this month in direct defiance of Beijing’s appeals, with news of the test interrupting the new Chinese leadership’s observance of China’s most important holiday on Feb. 12. Debate about the diminishing value of Beijing’s support for and alliance with North Korea was already occurring among Chinese policymakers, academics and citizens. In […]

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