Part of the Palgrave Series in Asia and Pacific Studies book series (PSAPS)


The introduction offers a general description of the Sino-Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (Sino-DPRK) historical relationship with several important concepts. Then it outlines the main arguments: the commercialisation of the Sino-DPRK relationship is driven by a multiplicity of the sub-state and non-state actors. Since 2002, these actors have become almost fully independent of Beijing, thereby allowing them to make their own decisions when developing business in North Korea. The activities of these actors both contribute and occasionally run counter to Beijing’s overall objectives of maintaining regional peace and stability in Northeast Asia and of sustaining positive relationships with neighbouring countries. At a higher level, the implementation of China’s foreign economic policy is pluralistic. It also introduces a few key concepts and research methods.


Main argument Historical background Concepts and methods 


  1. Adrian, Buzo (2018) Politics and leadership in North Korea: the guerrilla dynasty (2nd ed.). London; New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  2. Akaha, Tsuneo. Non-traditional Security Issues in Northeast Asia and Prospects for International Cooperation. Prepared for UN University Seminar ‘Thinking Outside the Security Box: Non-traditional Security in Asia: Governance, Globalization and the Environment’. March 15, 2002, 1–2.Google Scholar
  3. Akaha, Tsuneo (ed.) (2002) A Future of North Korea. London and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  4. Bai, Jie (2013) North Korea Observation Notes (朝鲜半岛观察笔记 Chaoxian Bandao Guancha biji). Beijing: World Knowledge Publishing House.Google Scholar
  5. Beal, Tim (2005) North Korea: The Struggle Against American Power. London and Ann Arbor, MI: Pluto Press.Google Scholar
  6. Burgess, J. P. (ed.) (2010) The Routledge handbook of new security studies. London; New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  7. Cao Guiquan. The distribution mode of multi-government and the systemic reform of China’s administrative and management. Theory and Modernization, Vol. 103, No. 3 (May, 2013), pp. 121–127.Google Scholar
  8. Cha, Victor (2013) The Impossible state: North Korea, past and future. New York: Ecco.Google Scholar
  9. Choo, Jaewoo. Mirroring North Korea’s Growing Economic Dependence on China: Political Ramifications. Asian Survey, Vol. 48, No. 2 (2008), pp. 343–372.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Cornell, Erik (2002) North Korea under Communism: Report of An Envoy to Paradise. London and New York: Routledge Curzon, Taylor and Francis Group.Google Scholar
  11. Cui Junyong. Research about strategy to the drug trafficking in Yanbian area related to South Korea. Academic Communication (学术交流 Xue Shu Jiao Liu), Vol. 191, No. 2 (February 2010), pp. 55–58.Google Scholar
  12. Dai Xiao-song. Developing Sea Circular Economy, Improving the Sustainable Development of Liaoning Sea Economy. Territory and Natural Resource, Vol. 2 (2007), pp. 255–260. 发展海洋循环经济, 促进辽宁海洋经济可持续发展, 国土和自然资源, 2007 02 , 255–260.Google Scholar
  13. Du, Bai-yu (2014) My Story in Pyongyang: A Journalist of Xinhua News in North Korea (我的平壤故事:一个新华社记者@朝鲜, Wo de Ping Rang Gushi: Yige Xinhuashe Jizhe zai Chaoxian). Beijing: Huaxia Publishing House.Google Scholar
  14. Ford, Glyn and Kwan Soyoung (2008) North Korea on the Brink: Struggle for Survival. London: Pluto Press.Google Scholar
  15. French, Paul (2007) North Korea, The Paranoid Peninsular: A Modern History. London and New York: Zed Books.Google Scholar
  16. Fuqua, Jacques (2007) Nuclear Endgame: The Need for Engagement with North Korea. Westport and London: Praeger Security International.Google Scholar
  17. Ge, Zheng-ying. China’s Dilemma in the Ocean Access of Tumen River and its Countermeasure. Journal of Leshan Normal University, 乐山师范学院学报 (Leshan Shi Fan Xue Yuan Xue Bao), No. 05 (2015), pp. 111–115.Google Scholar
  18. Goldstein, Avery (2006) China’s Interests and the Korean Peninsula. In Alastair Iain Johnston and Robert S. Ross, eds., New Directions in the Study of China’s Foreign Policy. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, p. 145.Google Scholar
  19. Haggard, S and Noland, M. The Political Economy of North Korea: Implications for Denuclearization and Proliferation. East-West Center Economy Series, No. 104 (June 2009).Google Scholar
  20. Hagstrom, Linus and Marie Soderbeg (eds.) (2006) North Korea Policy: Japan and the Great Powers. London and New York: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group.Google Scholar
  21. Han, Jing-yu. Discussing Sino-DPRK economic & trade cooperation. Science & Technology Information, 科技信息(Keji Xin-xi), Vol. 30 (2011), pp. 12–23.Google Scholar
  22. Harrold, Michael (2004) Comrades and Strangers: Behind the Closed Doors of North Korea. West Sussex: John Wiley& Sons Ltd.Google Scholar
  23. Haruki Wada (2014) The Korean War: an international history (translated by Frank Baldwin). Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield.Google Scholar
  24. Huang, Chiung-Chiu and Shih Chih-yu (2014) Harmonious Intervention: China’s Quest for Relational Security. Farnham, Surrey, England; Burlington, Vermont: Ashgate Publishing Limited. Hardcover.Google Scholar
  25. Huang, Zhi-xiong and Hu Jian-sheng. The International Legal Status of North Korean Escapees and China’s Relevant Policies. Present day Law Science (时代法学 Shi Dai Fa Xue), Vol. 12, No. 5 (Oct. 2014), pp. 3–10.Google Scholar
  26. Hundt, D. China’s Two Koreas Policy: Achievements and Contradictions. Political Science, Vol. 62 (2010), pp. 132–142.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Ikenberry, G. John and Moon Chung-in (eds.) (2008) The United States and Northeast Asia: debates, issues, and new order. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.Google Scholar
  28. Jiang Guobing. The Strategic Choice of China’s Devolution of Government Power. Journal of Changsha University, (长沙大学学报 Changsha daxue xuebao), Vol. 22, No. 1 (Jan 2008), pp. 57–59.Google Scholar
  29. Joo, Seung-Ho and Kwak Tae-Hwan (eds.) (2007) North Korea’s Second Nuclear Crisis and Northeast Asian Security. Aldershot: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  30. Kim Jae-Cheol. The Political Economy of Chinese Investment in North Korea: A Preliminary Assessment. Asian Survey, Vol. 46, No. 6 (2006), pp. 898–916.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Kim Jin Moo. North Korea’s Reliance on China and China’s Influence on North Korea. The Korean Journal of Defense Analysis, Vol. 23, No. 2 (2011), pp. 257–271.Google Scholar
  32. Kim, Sung-Chull (2006) North Korea under Kim Jong-Il: From Consolidation to Systemic Dissonance. Albany: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  33. Lee Chang Jae. Trade and Investment in North Korea. Korea Institute for International Economic Policy, Vol. 1 (2003), pp. 18.Google Scholar
  34. Lee, Joo-A. To Fuel or Not to Fuel: China’s Energy Assistance to North Korea. Asian Security, Vol. 5, No. 1 (2009), pp. 45–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Li, Qi. On the “3-illegal” Phenomena in the Area Bordering North Korea in Jilin Province. Journal of Henan Police College (河南警察学院学报, Henan Jing Cha Xue Yuan Xue Bao), Vol. 20, No. 2 (Apr. 2011), pp. 58–61.Google Scholar
  36. Li, Chun-hua. The Research on the Problem of the Trade between China and North Korea and Cross-border RMB Settlement. Journal of Jilin Financial Research, 吉林金融研究 (Jilin Jin-Rong Yan Jiu) (Dec 2012), pp. 35–39.Google Scholar
  37. Li Xiang-lan. The new sight of the environment around China: untraditional safe problem’, Territory and Natural Resource Study, Vol. 2 (2002), pp. 13. 周边环境新视角:非传统安全问题, 国土与自然资源研究, 2002 年 02 期, 13.Google Scholar
  38. Lim, Jae-cheon (2009) Kim Jong-Il’s Leadership to North Korea. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  39. Lin, Jin-shu and Hao Fang-long. Economic Cooperation Between Changchun-Jil in-Tumen Pilot Zone and Rajin-Sonbong. Journal of Yanbian University (Social Sciences) (延边大学学报社会科学版, Yanbian Da Xue Xue Bao, She Hui Ke Xue Ban), No. 02 (2011), pp. 12–18.Google Scholar
  40. Lin, Jin-shu and Jin Mei-hua. Present Situation and Countermeasures of Jilin-North Korean Trade. Journal of Yanbian University (Social Sciences) (延边大学学报(社会科学版) Yanbian Da Xue Xue Bao, She Hui Ke Xue Ban), No. 03 (2009), pp. 43–48.Google Scholar
  41. Liu, Ming. North Korean Economic Reform: Exploring a Third Way and its Uncertain Future. World Economy Research (世界经济研究 Shijie Jingji Yanjiu), No. 07 (2008), pp. 83–89.Google Scholar
  42. Liu Jin-zhi, Pan Jing-chu, Pan Rong-ying and Li Xi-yu (2006) The Relationship between China and Korean Peninsula Countries: The Collection of Documents, 1991–2006. Beijing: World Knowledge Publish, Inc. 中国同朝鲜半岛国家关系文件资料汇编 1991–2006. 北京:世界知识出版社.Google Scholar
  43. Liu Ting and Wang Haijun. Drug issue from the Perspective of Non-Traditional Security. Journal of Yunnan Police Officer Academy, Vol. 2 (2010), pp. 45–50. ‘非传统安全视野下的毒品问题研究’, 云南警官学院学报, 编辑部邮箱 2010 年 02 期, 45–50.Google Scholar
  44. Lou Wei and Teng Song-yan. Non-traditional security threats of Northeast China and regional Cooperation. Journal of Tonghua Teachers College, Vol. 28, No. 5 (2007), pp. 1519. 东北亚地区非传统安全威胁与地区合作, 通化师范学院学报, 2007 年 05 期, 1519.Google Scholar
  45. Man Haifeng. Open Regionalism and Development Trend of Boundary Economic and Trade Cooperation between China and North Korea: A Case Study of Economic and Trade Cooperation between Dandong and Sinuiju. Journal of Eastern Liaoning University (Social Science), Vol. 13, No. 2 (2011), pp. 131–136. ‘开放的地区主义与中朝边境经贸合作发展方向——以丹东—新义州两市开展经贸合作为研究视角’, 辽东学院学报(社会科学版), 2011 年 02 期, 131136.Google Scholar
  46. Moore, G. (2014) North Korean nuclear operationality: regional security & nonproliferation. Baltimore: John Hopkins University.Google Scholar
  47. Moore, Gregory J. How North Korea Threatens China’s Interests: Understanding Chinese ‘Duplicity’ on the North Korean Nuclear Issue. International Relations of the Asia-Pacific, Vol. 8 (2008), pp. 129.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Nanto, Dick K and Emma Chanlett-Avery (2010) North Korea: Economic Leverage and Policy Analysis. Congress Report Service.Google Scholar
  49. O’Hanlon, Michael and Mochizuki Mike (2003) Crisis on the Korean Peninsula: How to deal with a Nuclear North Korea. McGraw-Hill:The Brookings Institution.Google Scholar
  50. Park, Kyung-Ae and Snyder Scott (eds.) (2013) North Korea in transition: Politics, Economy and Society. New York: Roman and Littlefield Publisher, INC.Google Scholar
  51. Piao, Guang-ji. The Transformation Dilemma of Sino - DPRK Economic and Trade Relations and Its Countermeasures. Northeast Asia Forum (东北亚论坛 Dong Bei Ya Lun Tan), No. 03 (2012), pp. 44–53.Google Scholar
  52. Piao, Jian-yi and Li Zhi-fei. The internationalization of North Korea escapees and its impacts to China. Modern International Relations (现代国际关系, Xian Dai Guo Ji Guan Xi), No. 07 (2012), pp. 3–10.Google Scholar
  53. Rozman, Gilbert (2007) Strategic Thinking about the Korean Nuclear Crisis: Four Parties Caught Between North Korea and the United States. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Russell Ong. North Korea’s enduring importance to China’s security interests in the post-Cold War era. Asian Journal of Political Science, Vol. 8, No. 1 (2000), pp. 47–64.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Seth, M. J. (2010) A Concise History of Modern Korea: From the Nineteenth Century to the Present. Plymouth: The Rowman & Littlefield Publisher Inc.Google Scholar
  56. Shambaugh David. China and the Korean peninsula: Playing for the long term. The Washington Quarterly, Vol. 26, No. 2 (2003), pp. 43–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Shen Rong-hua and Song Yu-ping. Rethinking China’s Local government systemic reform. Theoretical Investigation, Vol. 149, No. 4 (Nov. 2009), pp. 15–19.Google Scholar
  58. Stares, Paul B and Wit Joel S. Preparing for Sudden Change in North Korea. Council Special Report No. 24, January 2009, Council of Foreign Relations.Google Scholar
  59. Sun Lin. Public Security Management and Legal Measures of Illegal Immigration Problem—Based on the case study of North Korean citizen criminal in Jilin province. Journal of Changsha University (长沙大学学报, Changsha Da Xue Xue Bao), Vol. 29, No. 6 (Nov. 2015), pp. 64–68.Google Scholar
  60. Sun Yong. The Economic Cooperation between Northeast China and North Korea and its outlook. The Border Economy and Culture, Vol. 4 (2004), pp. 6771. ‘东北地区和朝鲜经济合作及其展望. 边境经济和文化’, 2004 年 04 期, 6771.Google Scholar
  61. Walliman, N. (2011) Research Methods: The Basics. London and New York: Routledge, p. 73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Wang, Chun-sheng. The status-quo of Sino-Russia and Sino-North Korea border trade development and its countermeasures. China Forex (中国外汇, Zhong Guo Wai Hui), No. 23 (2013), pp. 62–63.Google Scholar
  63. Wang Qi and Liu Lian. Chinese Non-Traditional Security Problem and Countermeasure. Journal of Shandong Academy of Governance, Vol. 2 (2011), pp. 3033. ‘我国目前面临的非传统安全问题及对策’, 山东行政学院学报, 2011 年 02 期, 3033.Google Scholar
  64. Wang Run-bo. The Existed Problems and Advices of China-North Korea Trade Settlement. Jilin Finance Research. (吉林金融研究 Jilin Jinrong Yanjiu), Vol. 6 (2008), pp. 48–50.Google Scholar
  65. Wang, Yuan and Zhang Yu-shan. Analyzing status-quo of Jilin province’s economic and trade cooperation with North Korea and its countermeasures. North Korea and South Korea History Research (朝鲜·韩国历史研究, Chao Xian he Han Guo Li Shi Yan Jiu), No. 00 (2014), pp. 451–470.Google Scholar
  66. Xu, Hongshui. Discussing about the problems in the cross-border use of RMB in the Sino-DPRK border areas. China Money, 中国货币市场 (Zhong-guo Huo Bi Shi Chang), No. 11 (2011), pp. 51–54.Google Scholar
  67. Yin Jian-ping and Ding Qi. Adhering to the Principia of Steady Progress for Developing Coal Liquefaction Industry. Journal of China University of Petroleum, Vol. 22, No. 5 (2006), pp. 16. ‘发展煤炭液化产业必须坚持稳步推进的原则’, 中国石油大学学报(社会科学版), 2006 年 05 期, 16.Google Scholar
  68. Yoon, Seung-hyun and Lee Seung-ook. From old comrades to new partnerships: dynamic development of economic relations between China and North Korea. The Geographical Journal, Vol. 179, No. 1 (March 2013), pp. 19–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Yu, Guang-yi. The status-quo, problems of Sino-DPRK economic condition and strategy. Journal for Party and Administrative Cadres, 党政干部学刊 (Dang Zheng Gan-bu Xue Kan) (May 2008), pp. 32–34.Google Scholar
  70. Yu Xiaofeng (2015) A General Book of Non-traditional Security. 非传统安全概论 Feichuantong Anquan Gailun. Beijing: Beijing University.Google Scholar
  71. Yu, Zai-Xia. Discussing North Korean Economy. CangSang (沧桑), No. 01 (2010), pp. 121–123.Google Scholar
  72. Zhang, Dong-ming. A Study on Industrial Development and Cooperation Between China and DPRK. Northeast Asia Forum (东北亚论坛 Dong Bei Ya Lun Tan), No. 5 (2011), pp. 30–42.Google Scholar
  73. Zhang, Feng. Win-Win in the cooperation and complementation: Analyze the exploring condition of China-North Korean mineral resource. Korean Studies, Vol. 3 (2006), pp. 188–192.Google Scholar
  74. Zhang, Hui-zhi. Opening Practice during the Process of Revitalization in Northeast China: The cooperation Between China and North Korea. Northeast Asia Forum (东北亚论坛 Dong Bei Ya Lun Tan), No. 05 (2007), pp. 38–41.Google Scholar
  75. Zhang, Jia-xin and Miao Ru. The Analysis of the Logistics Economic Benefits of the Transport Construction of Changchun - Jilin - Tumen Pilot Zone: A Case Study of Sino - DPRK Channel. Northeast Asia Forum (东北亚论坛 Dong Bei Ya Lun Tan), No. 05 (2012), pp. 96–106.Google Scholar
  76. Zhang, Ying, Lu Yu-duo and Sun Xiu-ying. Exploring Sino-DPRK economic cooperation under the Nuclear Crisis of North Korea. Liaoning Economy, 辽宁经济 (Liaoning Jing-ji), Vol. 11 (2009), pp. 36–37.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bo Gao
    • 1
  1. 1.Ningbo University of Finance and EconomicsNingboChina

Personalised recommendations