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○Metaphor ■Without lips (i.e., North Korea or the Korean Peninsula), the teeth (China) may be adversely affected ■The teeth may often bite the lips, North Korea’s inherent concern and sense of insecurity in the face of a strong China ○Reality of the Sino-NK relationship ■NK is a liability for China, will not listen or cooperate, has damaged its interests ■Other powers assume China has influence that they don’t have ●What is China’s interest in the Korean Peninsula issue? How influential is China in constraining North Korea? ○China’s interest in the issue ■NK is a “dagger” pointed at the neck of China, want to make sure they are in control of that dagger ■Historically China has defended Korea from Japan, U.S., and UN ■Strategic relationship: “lips and teeth” ○China’s influence in constraining NK, debate about this ■Limited leverage
●Influence over economy does not necessarily mean leverage in other issue areas. ●NK’s sensitivity to outside interference + China’s preoccupation with regional stability = constraints on employing drastic measures against NK ●China does not stand on higher moral grounds over NK as far as the issue of nuclearization is concerned ○NK also doesn’t listen to China, keeps nuclear testing ●NK didn’t like multi-party consultative frameworks with three-party talk, practically begged them to come to the four-party talk in the 90s ●What are the two critical junctures that led Japan to conduct more explicit balancing toward China? ○2010 Senkaku Boat Collision Incident ■The Japanese Coast Guard found a Chinese fishing boat near the area around the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands, an area effectively administered by the Japanese government. The coast guard ordered the fishing boat to leave the area, but instead the boat began to ram the coast guard ships. In response, the Japanese Coast Guard detained the boat captain, Zhan Qixiong, and his crew on a charge of obstructing official duties ■Tensions rose rapidly: Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Jiang Yu asserted that it would ‘absolutely not accept’ the detention under Japanese law and warned Japan to manage the issue carefully because it was within China’s claimed maritime territory ●19 September, when the Japanese government decided to extend the detention of the Chinese captain for another ten days, China suspended joint talks ■deteriorated Sino–Japanese bilateral relations, but this did not completely prevent both states from engaging with one another diplomatically ○2012 Japanese Government Purchase of the Senkaku Islands ■After the Japanese government declared its decision to purchase the Senkaku Islands on 11 September 2012. The scale and intensity of China’s public and private responses to this Japanese ‘nationalization’ of the islands significantly exceeded its responses to the 2010 Senkaku incident.