Nayan Chanda at PostGlobal

Nayan Chanda

New Haven, Conn., United States

Nayan Chanda is the Director of Publications and the Editor of YaleGlobal Online Magazine at the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization. For nearly thirty years before he joined Yale University, Chanda was with the Hong Kong-based magazine the Far Eastern Economic Review as its editor, editor-at-large and correspondent. Close.

Nayan Chanda

New Haven, Conn., United States

Nayan Chanda is the Director of Publications and the Editor of YaleGlobal Online Magazine at the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization. more »

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China's Leverage Is an Illusion

Despite constant talk about Chinese leverage over North Korea, the reality may just be the opposite. Given China's huge stake in security along its eastern border and the unpredictability of a nuclear-armed North Korea, the Beijing-Pyongyang relationship appears to be one in which the tail is wagging the dog.

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All Comments (16)

russian's lover:

"Nuclear proliferation is far more dangerous in Pakistan or Russia than in North Korea."
What you tolking about, man? What a proliferation? Russia is a peacefull coutry, not like US with its mr.bush"imakingoftheworld". Relax, buy car looking used here -
and let your inside demones go away =)

Kathy Applegate:

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Jack McCoy:

Google is the best search engine Google


It is in chinese interest to hang on to
North Korea for just 1 generation...
If 2 generations pass by even the South Koreans wouldnt care if they had to kick some
A55 to get rid of chinese communist domination of korean politics.
Lets face it 2 dominating forces in recent korean politics have been US and China.
Which one of them is weaker at present ?
and which one is allied to South Korean ideals at present....
Dont think that South Koreans are a pawn
I have seen some south korean columnists who have a pawnish view of the world Mr Hoon comes to mind, but I wouldn't let his analysis get in the way.
The bottom line is that South Korea is STRONG and is MORE independent than North Korea which is a DEPENDENT country in its full sense of the word.


We must remember that for China yesterday is today and tomorrow is today as well !It will take ages if ever for China to intervene decisively !

John Anderson:

Wrong, China and Russia are not illusions.
China historically has had a suzerian relationship w/ North Korea. Allow the issue to proceed as it does in the region and this by being culturally aware of the historical roles played among parties of the region.


Sunil Misra is one of those people who are the darlings of Volvo-driving, Sushi-eating, PC-worshiping, Judeo-Christian values-abandoning, pot-smoking, and isolationist liberal pinheads.

If China attacks North Korea, the South Koreans will be calling jihad against the Chinese. Many people outside the Korea do not understand the strong undercurrent of nationalism in South Korea. What China gains from couquest of North Korea? Nothing. They cannot take possession of North Korea and they have to feed millions of wellfare people with South Koreans screaming for Chinese blood and American neo-con or paleo-con calling regime change in China (or economic boycott).


Historically, North Korea has been a very useful buffer zone for the Chinese. We must not forget that 50 years ago the Chinese engaged in direct armed conflict with the US to protect that Zone and pushed American/South Korean forces from the Yalu to the 38th Parallel in the face of possible nuclear retaliation. China will try to control its valuable satellite neighbor, but it will not abandon it.


Mr. Sunil Misra has a confused mind and is full of hatred.

Sunil Misra:

First, China is not "socialist." China has no ideology. Indeed, in four thousand years of history not one original philosophical idea has been proposed by the Chinese. It is, in fact, a state dictatorship that is attempting to hold power by amoral and immoral means.

North Korea is a cult. It would not come as a shock that China instigates North Korea just as it does actions that are reprehensible. Interesting that North Korea bubbles as the Chinese conquest of free Tibet is still being attempted by the building of the railroad. How the Chinese whine about Japan when they are Tibet's Japan. They have destroyed Buddhist temples, murdered and jailed and tortured Buddhist monks and nuns, kidnapped religious figures, attempted ethno-drowning of Tibet with invading Chinese, and ecologically ruin Tibet. But, in search of money, American and other capitalists will sell their brother down the river. People with a sense of human rights should refuse to travel on this Chinese means of colonization. And China, you are no longer allowed to cry about Japanese atrocities in World War II, probably done more to increase present Chinese power than seek justice. Tibet will be free, even as the Baltic nations, once an place where Stalin attempted ethnic drowning, became free.

North Korea is an idiotic distraction, a nation led by a thuggish tin horn despot. Nuclear proliferation is far more dangerous in Pakistan or Russia than in North Korea.

James Tu:

As far as Beijing is concerned, the leadership is more than happy to keep Naughty Kim agitated but also adequately-contained. Of course, the last thing they want to see is the sudden collapse of Kim's regime, but please also bear in mind that the Chinese would't mind a bit of chaos as to reassert its credibility as the most influential go-between factor in the region.

Its lukewarm response can be regarded as the traditional tactic to cause rift and division among the concerning parties while holding off the higher ground with degrees of detachment and distance that enables them to observe and wait. In order to fend off U.S. power and Japanese domestic military expansion in the region, the Chinese government needs a controlled and stable North Korea regime, which leaves no chance for foreign invasion. Yet, to remind the world of its global importance requires some bad behaviours from the little brother.

Kim will always needs China to get the aid, the cash, and the energy resources that NK badly lacked should another round of peace talk resumes. He would need China's full approval to start a real war with either South Korea or Japan as he would never easily upset China by disrespecting its leadership.

As for China, it will one more time play the carrots and stick game by squeezing Kim hard into obedience should the Chinese government sees fit.

Mr Yu:

China should strike a deal with the South Korean government that it would prohibit US forces from moving north if the DPRK collapsed, or better yet would require the US to pull its ground troops out of Korea completely if reunification on southern terms were achieved. The US position in East Asia is fast eroding and NE Asian states need to step up the process of developing a post-US hegemonic system.


China invading NK - Why? To have a guerilla war against it and upset the rest of the world, including SK? I see China's strategy as do the minimum to keep NK alive and avoid a collapse.

If China wanted to cause NK collapse, all they would need to do is recognize North Korean's in Manchuria as political refugees and stop the flow of fuel/food.

I would like the US to make a deal with China guaranteeing no US troups in NK if NK collapsed, and a promise of aid to NK (if NK collapsed), so China would not be hurt/impacted negatively by a NK collapse.



Oh Yeah:

Ridiculous. If you think that China can't simply invade NK and squat on their heads if they feel like, you need to go back to sleep. Who on this planet would be shedding a tear if tomorrow morning the world were to read how China has now taken over the NK govt? You bet the NK are full of "Yes sirs!" when the Red Dragon speaks.


Kim is so clever, but evil.

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