China’s Rise and Its Effect on North Korea: Snyder, Byun, Economy, Moon

By | February 23, 2012 | No Comments

Think-Tank Watch remains in the queue for tomorrow, but in the meantime, a handful of sources and audio-visual content which may be of note to readers.  — Adam Cathcart, Editor

– Foreign Affairs asks Elizabeth Economy about China & North Korea’s Future:

– Scott Snyder and See-won Byun’s “China-Korea Relations: New Challenges in the Post-Kim Jong Il Era,” Comparative Connections (December 2011) is a comprehensive review of China’s relations with both Koreas in the last months of 2011.  This is a subject about which we at are naturally quite interested — What, after all, was going on in Sino-North Korean relations prior to the death of Kim Jong Il?  Is there a “new normal” taking hold in the bilateral relationship, or, having gotten through some soul-searching, will  the Pyongyang elite revert things back approximately to where they were last fall?  What exactly was on the table (in addition to refugee issues, which the Global Times admitted) when the PRC’s Vice-Premier Li Keqiang swung though Pyongyang for three days last October?  Was China really starting to tilt more clearly towards its far-more-lucrative relationship with South Korea, or was the CCP buttressing ideological and literal defenses along with North Korean allies?  These are significant questions, and Snyder and Byun lay out the related themes and interactions with consummate clarity; it is a cluttered chessboard in Northeast Asia but no one navigates it like Snyder and Byun.  Their article, originally linked at Council on Foreign Relations, is available in pdf. here.  Indicative of our desire at to remain innovative, flexible, and responsive to the various way that our readers approach and absorb information, the article is read aloud on Soundcloud here, clocking in at 22 minutes.

– Last night at the University of Michigan, Chung-In Moon of Yonsei University gave a lecture entitled “China’s Rise and the Future of the Korean Peninsula.” No video is presently available, but Dr. Moon, along with his frequent co-author John Delury, discusses North Korean contingencies in a cogent essay on East Asia Forum and has those ideas further analyzed on Leonid Petrov’s excellent Korea Vision website.

– As a coda — feeding more meat to the Wolverines, as it were — readers may enjoy this 50-minute lecture given by Bruce Cumings on September 28, 2011 at the University of Michigan, entitled “History & Memory in the Korean War: Apocalypse, Absence, Amnesia–& Kim Jong Il.”  Partisans of B.R. Myers will further note the April UM lecture entitled “Sappho in Red: Proletarian Literature, Gender, and Colonial Korea.”

No Comments

  1. Speaking of Myers and Cumings, I came across this article in the Atlantic while reading up on criticism of Cumings.

    Ouch. Has Myers something personal against Cumings we should know about?

    Because of the types of arguments Cumings puts forth, it seems he will probably always be remembered as a “revisionist” or an “anti-establishment” critic/historian. I’ve no problem referring to him as such (although I think he does).

    I think I can speak for several of the foreign students here in Seoul when I say reading Cumings gives you a purpose for being here (in Korea) — the subtext of Cumings’ writing implores the Western to ‘do more to know more’ about a region of the world where Americans have invested a lot of money, human capital and geopolitical energy to create an economic and political order favorable to the particular ideological/geopolitical interests of the US. His emphasis on the “average Joe” bouncing about the metropole or slugging his way into the city from the countryside is also encouraging; adds a certain human element to history — something a lot of historians leave out.

    I did a small write-up this afternoon over at the Political Cartel. I’m reading through The Origins, Vol. I in toto right now, for the first time.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.