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The bulk of existing analysis on China’s engagement with North Korea has focussed on the strategic logic of Chinese policy. Beijing’s economic assistance and political support for Pyongyang is explained with respect to a range of connections. While all of these issues hold some explanatory weight for China’s policy, they tend to pivot on a defensive logic.

This volume, by contrast, has centred on a key premise: China’s developmental peace thesis can offer a more expansive logic for understanding China’s vision for and approach toward realising peace and security on the Korean peninsula. The chapters in this volume have explored how analysing China’s policy through the prism of developmental peace might provide a richer account of Chinese agency, help to explain the rationale behind China’s engagement, and offer a Chinese-articulated frame of reference for critically evaluating China’s North Korea policy. Within this concluding chapter we highlight the importance and the contribution of this approach, but also seek to demonstrate that our contributors have also demonstrated that this approach does not emanate from a single entity with Beijing but rather it is developed and implemented by a range of actors adding nuance and variation to the shape and form of China’s engagement with North Korea.


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationChina-North Korea Relations: between development and security
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020

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