With international attention focused on a potential U.S.-North Korea summit meeting in May, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made a surprise trip to Beijing in late March to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping. The North Korean leader’s visit to Beijing, his first foreign visit since assuming power in late 2011, came amid strained bilateral relations in recent years. Kim and Xi appear to have reinvigorated the historical bonds between the two countries and reaffirmed China’s crucial role in the future of the Korean Peninsula. This conference explored the dynamics and tensions of the historical relationship between China and North Korea, the potential impact of Korean reunification on China, and China’s role in a limited military conflict and its aftermath. 

8:30 am - 9:00 am: Registration and Breakfast

9:00 am - 9:15 am: Welcome

Speakers

Nancy Lindborg
President, U.S. Institute of Peace

Thomas Banchoff
Vice President for Global Engagement, Georgetown University

Panel 1, 9:15am - 10:30am
China and North Korea Relations

This panel examined the historical China-North Korea relationship, changes in political and security relations, and role of past and present economic ties on the future of the bilateral relationship.

Panelists

  • Dennis Wilder, Moderator
    Managing Director, Initiative for US-China Dialogue on Global Issues; Assistant Professor of Practice, Asian Studies Program, Georgetown University
    @dennisw5
  • Stella Xu
    Associate Professor of History, Roanoke College
  • Yafeng Xia
    Professor of History, Long Island University Brooklyn
  • Junsheng Wang
    Visiting Senior Fellow, Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, Atlantic Council
    Director and Associate Professor, Department of China’s Regional Strategy, National Institute of International Strategy, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, China 


BREAK


Panel 2, 10:45am - 12:00pm
Would a Reunified Korea under South Korean Leadership be Positive or Negative for China?

This panel assessed China’s position on the ideal end state for the Korean Peninsula and whether a reunified peninsula under South Korean leadership would be beneficial or detrimental to Chinese economic, political, and security interests given South Korean, Japanese and U.S. likely responses. 

Panelists

  • Frank AumModerator
    Senior Expert on North Korea, U.S. Institute of Peace
    @frankaum1
  • Yun Sun 
    Co-Director, East Asia Program; Director, China Program, Stimson Center
  • Heung-Kyu Kim 
    Director and Professor of Political Science, China Policy Institute, Ajou University, South Korea 
  • Michael Green
    Chair in Modern and Contemporary Japanese Politics and Foreign Policy and Director of Asian Studies, Georgetown University
    Senior Vice President for Asia and Japan Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies 
    @JapanChair


Lunch Keynote Address, 12:15pm - 1:45pm

Speakers

  • Ambassador Mark LippertKeynote Speaker
    Current member of the Board of Trustees at the Asia Foundation and former U.S. Ambassador to South Korea.
    @mwlippert
  • Oriana Skylar Mastro, Moderator
    Assistant Professor of Security Studies, Georgetown University
    Jeanne Kirkpatrick Scholar, American Enterprise Institute
    @osmastro


BREAK


Panel 3, 2:00pm - 3:15pm
War and its Aftermath on the Korean Peninsula – What Role Could China Play?

This panel discussed the contours of a potential conflict on the Korean Peninsula, to include U.S. operations, how China may respond, and opportunities for cooperation. Participants will also examine Beijing’s role in shaping the post-war situation on the peninsula.  

Panelists


Review the conversation throughout the day on Twitter with the hashtag #ChinaGUUSIP.

This conference was cosponsored by the Georgetown Center for Security Studies and the United States Institute of Peace, and made possible in part by the generosity of the Bilden Asian Security Studies Fund.

Related Publications

Amid the Central African Republic’s search for peace, Russia steps in. Is China next?

Amid the Central African Republic’s search for peace, Russia steps in. Is China next?

Thursday, December 19, 2019

By: Leslie Minney; Rachel Sullivan; Rachel Vandenbrink

The 2017 National Security Strategy refocused U.S. foreign and defense policy to address resurgent major power competition with Russia and China. In U.S. foreign policy, Africa has emerged as a frontline for this competition, as in recent years both Moscow and Beijing have sought to expand their influence and promote their interests on the continent. Nowhere is the role of major powers more apparent than in the Central African Republic (CAR), where Russia has emerged as a key power broker amid a civil war that has simmered since 2012. Despite concerns about the need to counter other major powers, the best course for U.S. policy in CAR is to not allow competition with Russia and China to distract from the fundamental priority of supporting a democratic, inclusive path to peace.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Conflict Analysis & Prevention; Global Policy

Strategic Implications of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor

Strategic Implications of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor

Monday, December 16, 2019

By: James Schwemlein

Great power politics is resurgent in South Asia today. China’s growing military ambition in the region is matched in financial terms by its Belt and Road Initiative, the largest and most advanced component of which is the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. What remains unclear is how the United States should navigate the new dynamic. This report, which is based on research and consultations with experts worldwide, addresses the question of how the India-Pakistan rivalry will play into the emerging great power competition.

Type: Special Report

Economics & Environment

Senator Mark Warner: Meeting the Challenge of China

Senator Mark Warner: Meeting the Challenge of China

Thursday, September 26, 2019

By: Fred Strasser

China today is seeking to erode U.S. power and influence globally through economic, military, technological and political influence strategies, U.S. Senator Mark Warner said. The United States should respond not by reverting to a simplistic “new Cold War” frame, but by bolstering security at home and working with allies and partners abroad to reinforce the existing international order and make America more competitive.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & Governance; Global Policy

China Trade War: Risks and Strategies

China Trade War: Risks and Strategies

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

By: USIP Staff

The chances that trade talks scheduled to resume with China next month will result in any broad agreement with the U.S. are slim to none, said two members of a bipartisan congressional panel focused on U.S.-China relations. “It’s important that we keep talking,” said Rep. Rick Larsen (D-WA), the co-chair of the House of Representatives U.S.-China Working Group. “That’s a positive, but I haven’t seen anything that has changed to ensure that something would be different” when U.S. and Chinese trade officials are scheduled to sit down again in early October.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Economics & Environment; Global Policy

View All Publications