Chinese economy is one of the strongest in the region. Its economy has change over time from a central planned one to a market oriented one, inviting trade relationship with many countries. As a result one expects its neighbors to have close relationship with China in order to benefit from the booming Chinese’s economy. This dependency may extend to political dependency and this is true when we put North Korea in this context. Korean and Chinese government are communist in nature although North Korea is more like a dictatorship. Therefore these two countries have a lot to share. Choo (2008) arguing a long the same line points out that ‘prevailing deficiency in food, fertilizer, and oil in North Korea forces it to turn to China as the source of replenishment for such deficiency.’ This alliance between these two countries has overtime resulted in a political dependency.
China for instance, plays a huge part in North Koreans foreign policy. This is because North Korea has to consult China before signing an agreement with any other country. If North Korea signs an agreement with another county that is regarded by China as an enemy state, the bilateral relationship between Korea and China is strained and in case of a fall out, then North Korea will suffer most. Security issues in the region are also very important. North Korea for instance, has a nuclear power plant but the west is against it and wants it destroyed. Korea seeks support from china in order to expand its nuclear capacity and this also forces China to have an upper hand in regional politics.
Choo, J. Mirroring North Korea’s Growing Economic Dependence on China: Political Ramifications. Asian Survey. 2008, Vol. 48, No. 2.