It's long, but worth reading imo. It indicates a real lack agreement on a) what the relationship between China and NK is, b) what it should be, and c) how this would play out in terms of actual policy.
The reason why China supports Pyongyang is not because they love the regime there, but because - as the article says - they want a "strategic buffer zone" between capitalist South Korea and China. And of course, they don't want American troops on its borders.
Part of the point of the piece is that China is not of one mind on this issue, like every other issue, and like every other nation. Sure, we can say what the point of a particular policy is right now, but moving forward things could change and it's good--I think--to see the angles and the variety.
Sure, that's true in all cases but stability and the buffer zone is a big part of it. Much of the debate about North Korea comes from a western, and in particular US, point of view. China would probably be amenable to "solving" the Pyongyang problem, but it would mean that the west would have to accept a solution where moral considerations it holds are completely set aside. We would acquiesce into condemning North Koreans into a repressive dictatorship forever, and the Korean peninsula split would be made permanent. But, on the other hand, the Pyongyang regime would be gone.
If moral considerations mattered, Hong Kong would be free.
____________________________________________________ Economics puts parameters on people’s utopias. ~Peter Boettke "It's the voter's fault" is victim-blaming in its purest sense. ~Don The 'social contract' is to the politician what 'original sin' is to the priest. ~Don The vision of the helpful and protective state is the most pervasive and counter-productive ideology in the world today. ~Don ____________________________________________________