Library Header Image
LSE Research Online LSE Library Services

Why Does China want to have a stable North Korea after Kim Jong-Il’s demise?

Yu, Jie (2011) Why Does China want to have a stable North Korea after Kim Jong-Il’s demise? International Affairs at LSE (20 Dec 2011). Website.

Text - Published Version
Download (261kB) | Preview


The sudden death of North Korea ruler Kim Jong-Il has casted a long shadow over the strategic balance in North East Asia (NEA). His youngest son has taken the reins of power under his father’s promotion in the past three years. Kim Jong-Eun has just turned 29 and has a Swiss educating background. His lack of governing and military experience may have lead the real power of ruling North Korea to lie in the competent hands of his uncle Jang Song Taek and his aunt Kim Kyong Hui (Kim Jong-Il sister) together with the top military and Labour/Communist Party members. In the short term, there will be a de-facto power vacuum existed in the North Korean/Party government. This is because Kim Jong-Il’s approval is the only legitimacy that his son has so far. To this extent, some countries consider this is a great opportunity to tilt the balance of power in NEA. However, an unstable North Korea is clearly not at China’s strategic interests both externally and domestically. According to the official condolence letter from the Chinese government, it referred to the word “trust” to re-affirm Kim Jong-Eun’s legitimacy. The Chinese government and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has rarely used the word of “trust” when it addressed to a foreign country leader. This signals two crucial points of current North Korea leadership: 1) Kim Jong-Eun is the legitimate leader of North Korea after his father. 2) China will do its best to guarantee a smooth power transition and to facilitate a calm situation in Korean Peninsula. My blog post will explain the reasons why does China want to have an absolutely stable North Korea both in a short run and a long run.

Item Type: Online resource (Website)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2011 The Author(s)
Divisions: International Relations
Subjects: J Political Science > JQ Political institutions Asia
Date Deposited: 21 Jun 2017 13:21
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 06:37

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics