China and North Korea: A fragile relationship of strategic convenience

Y. Ji*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Citations (Scopus)


The common view is that China is North Korea's ally. The two countries share a similar political system and considerable strategic interest in regional international relations. Indeed, this is true to a large extent. This paper, however, analyses the problems in the bilateral relations that are gradually eroding the strategic ties the two countries formed 50 years ago. Its central argument is that, in reality, beneath the surface of the alliance relations the two countries share very few common interests. In fact, the two countries can hardly agree to any matters between them, be it historical ties, ideological stance, political and economic programs, or diplomatic interactions. This heralds an uncertain future for the bilateral relations and thus may further complicate the security situation in the Korean Peninsula.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)387-398
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Contemporary China
Issue number28
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


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