[Letters] Six-party talks and China’s Goldilocks strategy

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[Letters] Six-party talks and China’s Goldilocks strategy

China’s ideal outcome for North Korea is a Goldilocks state - one that is not so strong to challenge China or so weak that its implosion threatens Chinese interests. China’s multifaceted approach relies on economic engagement, bilateral interactions and reducing the North’s isolation through multilateral talks. Chinese strategists believe that denuclearization requires not only engagement, but ultimately the reform and opening of North Korea’s economy and society, which Beijing expects would enhance the North’s security and ensure its long-term survival.

The challenge facing Northeast Asia, however, is deep mutual mistrust in the region and the underlying problem of China’s own insecurity, neither of which is effectively addressed by the six-party talks or other regional architectures.


Drew Thompson, Director of China Studies and Starr Senior Fellow, The Nixon Center
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