(X SEI) China’s Mediation Diplomacy in the North Korean Nuclear Conflict Rosa María Rodrigo Calvo, Degree in East Asian Studies from the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC).

In Estudios, Otros, Política exterior, Simposio Electrónico Internacional by Xulio Ríos

China’s commitment to North Korea is the result both of historical regional interaction and of ideology. Chinese interests in the Korean Peninsula seek a favorable balance of power in North East Asia, stability and security, together with maintaining a geostrategic buffer and enhancing its status through great power diplomacy. China has rarely played the role of mediator in international affairs, but the nuclear conflict with North Korea made China agree to serve as mediator and address the issue in order to stabilize the Korean Peninsula. China believes in a process implemented through coordinated steps and has opposed harsh international sanctions on North Korea in the hope of avoiding regime collapse. Pyongyang’s nuclear tests and missile launches have complicated its relationship with Beijing in recent years, and the Moon government’s commitment to North-South reconciliation have catapulted Seoul into the role of facilitator and mediator. However, this new scenario has not diminished China’s traditional leverage on North Korea, and its diplomatic role as mediator, even though questioned in the realist spheres, continues to play an important part on building mutual trust and confidence in the negotiation process to guide North Korea through the path to abandon its nuclear program, boost its economy and facilitate the transition to conflict resolution.