China has been widely perceived as North Korea’s “only ally” and economic lifeline and so, accordingly, China has long been expected to play a “key and unique” role in resolving the North Korean nuclear issue. However, North Korea conducted nuclear tests despite China’s opposition. From 2006 to 2016, North Korea conducted four nuclear tests and launched four satellites with the ballistic missile technology. China has been criticized for failing to exertapply much pressure on North Korea and China’s policy was often blamed as a “failure”. In the wake of North Korea’s fourth nuclear test, China approved the strongest UNSC Resolution yet (2270). China’s tough stanceposition indicated its changing policy in recent years and will have significant impact oin China-North Korea relations.
Sun Ru, Deputy Director, Institute of World Political Studies, China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations