Yunping Chen examines the factors that affect Sino–North Korean relations under the current Xi Jinping administration. From leadership level, country level and system level analysis, she concludes that the Sino-North Korean traditional friendship is no longer relevant for China’s foreign policy making toward North Korea, and the Chinese top leader Xi Jinping is more able to influence foreign policy than his predecessors. In addition, Xi Jinping prioritizes the development of China’s economy and prevention of the perceived U.S. encirclement over this friendship. This will make China regard North Korea more and more as  a strategic liability and thus leads to changes in China’s foreign policy toward North Korea.

Read “Factors Affecting Sino-North Korea Relations under the Xi Jinping Administration,” by Yunping Chen

Yunping Chen is a recent graduate of SAIS, who concentrated in Korea Studies and International Economics. Prior to SAIS, Yunping obtained her B.A. in international relations at Fudan University in Shanghai. She has interned with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Beijing. She has also supported Accion International’s China Capacity Training Program, hoping to improve financial inclusion in China. With generous support from SAIS Korea Studies, she completed a summer internship with the Empathy Foundation for North Korean Refugees in Daegu, South Korea. After SAIS, she aims to combine her interests in human rights and international trade by pursuing a law degree.

Back to the 2016 SAIS US-Korea Yearbook