China's Foreign Policy Toward North Korea: The Nuclear Issue   [open pdf - 760KB]

From the thesis abstract: "China has had different reactions to North Korean nuclear provocations. When North Korea announced its withdrawal from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and provoked the first nuclear crisis in 1993--1994, China responded relatively softly and preferred to remain a bystander. However, in 2003, when North Korea withdrew from the NPT and provoked a nuclear crisis again, China reacted quite differently. The country actively intervened to settle the crisis and cooperated with the international community. This research examines what factors have affected China's foreign-policy change toward the North Korean nuclear issue. This research argues that China's general foreign-policy change had affected China's attitude change toward the North Korean nuclear issue. Since the Tiananmen incident, China had maintained a passive attitude in international affairs, until the mid-1990s. However, China's attitude toward international affairs changed in the late 1990s. China started to resume its diplomatic relationship with the West and successful economic development gave China confidence in its comprehensive national power. While trying to limit U.S. influence in the Asian region, China has also tried to increase its influence in the region and involvement in international affairs. This precipitated change in China's attitude change in the North Korean nuclear issue."

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