Three Questions on Dandong and Chinese-North Korean Economic Relations

As the third China-North Korea Trade Fair continues, a few questions (modified from those posed by a stalwart reporter from a northern European news magazine roaming Liaoning province) and tentative answers seem appropriate. Q.: There is a great deal of new construction in Dandong and Chinese real estate companies are clearly trying to attract buyers — including possibly wealthy North Koreans.  I have been going to … Continue reading Three Questions on Dandong and Chinese-North Korean Economic Relations

New Chinese Writing on North Korea

Chinese scholarship and journalistic analysis of North Korea tends to be very strong, if occasionally oblivious or channeled due to political censorship. From a scholarship standpoint, China’s increasing distance from the DPRK has resulted in a relative opening up of the Chinese discourse on North Korea which has been absolutely fascinating to observe. Today I ran across a new author I hadn’t been familiar with … Continue reading New Chinese Writing on North Korea

Documenting Claims of China’s “Charm Diplomacy”

A recent essay on Chinese “soft power” written not by a US-trained academic, but from within China, provides a chance to find fissures between how and why China is using Western concepts of cultural power on the global stage.  (See Yang Danzhi, “Charm Diplomacy Bears Fruit,” China Daily, April 9, 2012). The tendency is to read the China Daily as merely a state-controlled paper whose … Continue reading Documenting Claims of China’s “Charm Diplomacy”