China's North Korea Conundrum
Recorded on February 28, 2006
Location: The Heritage Foundation's Lehrman Auditorium
For a country with a highly unstable, economically devastated, and
politically unpredictable nuclear weapon state on a key border,
China seems remarkably unperturbed by North Korea. Beijing asserts
that a prime foreign policy goal is "a denuclearized Korean
peninsula," but it tempers this hope with another goal - peace and
stability in North Korea. Can China live with a nuclear North
Korea? Are there parallels with China's stance on a nuclear Iran?
Can China tolerate a proliferated international system in which
authoritarian and totalitarian states have nuclear weapons but the
democracies do not? Can the United States? These and other
questions will be examined by our panelists, as they assess China's
strategic considerations in the North Korean Nuclear Conundrum.