Experts Say

How China’s failure to watch its own backyard let the US gain the upper hand with North Korea


March 18, 2018
By Maximilian Mayer

The agreement between North Korea and the United States that both heads of state will meet for the first time in history to engage in face-to-face negotiation is a risky gamble. On the one hand, the news renewed hope that the nuclear crisis on the Korean peninsula might be resolved peacefully. On the other, a war seems almost unavoidable if the talks fail. Either way, the outcome will shape the future of East Asia in unexpected ways. While many observers overestimate China’s power, the surprise announcement reveals Beijing’s limited ability to shape the regional order.
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