We hope for a normal state-to-state relationship with North Korea


Interviewed by Viktor Kaspruk

Dr. Ren Xiao is currently a professor of international politics at the Institute of International Studies (IIS), Fudan University, Shanghai, and the director of the Center for the Study of Chinese Foreign Policy at IIS. Previously he was senior fellow and director of the Asia Pacific Studies Department, Shanghai Institute for International Studies (SIIS). Dr Ren studied at the University of Essex in England (1990-91) and held research or teaching positions at the University of Turku, Finland, Nagoya University, Japan, and The George Washington University in Washington, DC, U.S.A. His research concentrates on the theory of international politics, international relations of the Asia-Pacific, Northeast Asian security, and Chinese foreign policy. He is a member of the China National Committee of the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific (CSCAP), and worked at the Chinese Embassy in Tokyo in 2010 and 2011. He received his Ph.D. in political science from Fudan University in 1992.

– Professor Xiao, today China has a great influence to the North Korea. China is ready to use it for situation stabilisation on the Korean peninsula? By the way, Ren is my surname.

– Over the years China has been trying to use its influence to stabilize the peninsula. The question is whether China is more determined to do so.

– Pyongyang’s brinkmanship had given the US many reasons to strengthen its military presence in the region. It harms to interests of China?

– Yes that harms China’s national security interests.

– North Korea can to experience an economic boom similar to China if they adopt the state capitalism route China?

– Basically I think that’s true. But “state capitalism” is a tricky term, and people may have different understandings.

– Whether there is a friendly North Korea toward China will impact the strategic posture US in Northeast Asia?

– China needs a friendly neighbor, and that would be favorable to China’s overall external environment. The more friendly neighboring countries, the better.

– China has given considerable resources as aid to the North, which has played a key role in North Korea’s stability and its survival. Under these circumstances, Pyongyang has to consider China’s interests?

– I think they have to take these into account. Otherwise, why don’t we bother to give them many things for such a long time?

– Professor Xiao, what are the prospects for China’s relations with North Korea?

– Neither too good nor too bad. We hope for a normal state-to-state relationship with North Korea.

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