benpenguin wrote:This age however, SK and China are almost besties - if NK can go the Deng route, we are gonna have a large piece of undeveloped land in the middle of Korea, Japan, China and Russia, soon to be joined by high speed rails and infrastructure that China is itching to build. That's a capitalist wet dream
But despite all their nonsense our bonds with NK won't be broken that easily. For China it is an issue of political correctness and Xi the paragon of virtue is definitely not going to cross that line.
Yep, China and South Korea have a really strong relationship at the moment. China does a lot of assembly for chaebols such as Samsung and both countries are part of the same supply chains on many fronts. China is likely looking for technological transfers and SK is looking for increased market access.
North Korea going the Deng route is a complicated issue. I think China has this in mind but NK is plagued by too many factional political differences to facilitate it. Kim JI was really paranoid about China's influence/infiltration of NK and this sentiment still resonates there within the leadership. The whole Jang Sung-taek drama may well have originated from his economic (and political) ties with China.
Yanbian is an interesting. (Zhang Dejiang (张德江) is a Yanbian University graduate BTW). It's really the key point for China going in and out of NK. Jilin Province academics and bureaucrats had a lot of input into Rason when it was getting off the ground (as I understand things) and theoretically Rason (Rajin-Sonbong) can be a kind of Shenzhen. It's port is ice free in winter and NE China really needs access to it because Dalian is so congested. It makes perfect sense for NK to test reforms contained in there. The rise of the 'Donju' (new connected capitalist class) in PY gets a lot of press in SK but I suspect its economic power is very shallow.
I'm waiting and waiting for economic reforms in NK, especially opening up the border to Kaesong again (I could drive to Pyongyang in less than a day if it was allowed), but KJU, like Xi perhaps, is preoccupied with power consolidation and projecting strength abroad rather than really pushing any necessary but risky reforms that will break the status quo.