April 08, 2019

Operation Obstacle Course: How China Has Disrupted Negotiations with North Korea

By Ashley Feng

As the United States pushes North Korea toward denuclearization, it should focus more on the Chinese lifeline to this rogue regime. An ally and neighbor of North Korea, China is a key player in the United States’ two-track strategy to convince Pyongyang to give up its nuclear arsenal of weapons: maximum financial pressure and diplomatic outreach. The United States should call out China for its insidious enabling of North Korea and point to the Kim regime’s money trails through China.

The overwhelming volume of North Korean commerce flows through China. Conversely, trade with North Korea is an important source of revenue for many Chinese cities bordering North Korea. In a region that primarily relies on coal and manufacturing, both local firms and local government officials rely on North Korean trade to meet growth targets. Forty percent of trade in Dandong, a Chinese border city, comes from North Korea, which explains why so many Dandong-based companies have subsequently been sanctioned for dealing with North Korea in violation of UN and U.S. laws.

Dandong Hongxiang Industrial Development Company, for example, transacted over $500 million worth of business with North Korea before being sanctioned by the United States in September 2016. This kind of business is replicated throughout the provinces of Liaoning and neighboring Jilin. In so doing, numerous Chinese businesses are reportedly defying UN Security Council Resolutions.

Read the full article in The National Interest.

  • Commentary
    • April 8, 2020
    China’s Economy and COVID-19

    On April 2, the CNAS Energy, Economics, and Security (EES) program held a Twitter conversation on the impact of COVID-19 on China’s economic performance, priorities, leverage,...

    By Sam Dorshimer & Ashley Feng

  • Commentary
    • POLITICO Magazine
    • April 8, 2020
    Now’s Not the Time for Isolationism

    The coronavirus is a public health tragedy. If the United States isn’t careful, it could turn into a geopolitical one, too. How the U.S. manages—or mismanages—the coronavirus...

    By Michèle Flournoy & Lisa Monaco

  • Video
    • April 6, 2020
    Forging an Alliance Innovation Base

    Daniel Kliman, Senior Fellow and Director of the Asia-Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), discusses plans to forge an Alliance Innovatio...

    By Daniel Kliman

  • Commentary
    • The Washington Examiner
    • April 5, 2020
    Time for the US to declare independence from China

    Americans now know they can’t rely on China or even our allies to produce the goods we need during a pandemic. That’s why it’s time for the United States government to do what...

    By Anthony Vinci & Dr. Nadia Schadlow

View All Reports View All Articles & Multimedia