China's Rapid Economic Growth: A Threat Or An Opportunity For The Us?

China’s economic survival is dependent on a co-op political relation with North Korea. China uses North Korea as a puppet regime within the eastern hemisphere. China and North Korea cooperate because of the advantages China has from being allies with North Korea. Simultaneously, there are advantages for North Korea to being allies with China. Currently China uses North Korea in the global political arena and enjoys benefits gained by the country by having them as allies. 

For decades, China’s economy has been directly tied to North Korea. The close ties between the two countries have offered economic and political influence for China while also providing North Korea with foreign investment. As of now, China accounts for a total of forty-five percent of trade in North Korea due to economic ties which have increased over the last decade. China uses North Korea and their economic relationship under the belief that such aid will keep China powerful on the inside, allowing them to possibly shape events within North Korea and have ownership over what is going on inside. China understands that North Korea needs to ensure a reform process and an opening process, especially following the recent death of their dear leader, a process which China already experienced after the death of Mae Zedong. There are several signs that indicate that North Korea is where China was just a few decades back. The Rason Special Economic Zone—a warm-water port in North Korea—is a prime example of how China is helping with North Korea’s development. China leased the land for ten years in order to rebuild a pier. While this plan is beneficial to North Korea, China is also gaining from the enterprise. The move could slash transportation cost for China—making it easier for them to trade with Japan and from one part of China to another.

However, China is involved in the North Korean economy in many more ways. Pyongyang recently opened its first supermarket. It appears that this supermarket is back by Chinese interests. The supermarket is a great symbol for what is happening in the region. It shows that China is heavily involved in the North Korean economy. It also shows that North Korea has fallen dramatically behind, economically, compared to its neighbors. Kim Jong Il praised the new supermarket shortly before his death despite the fact that most countries in the region are decades ahead.

Trade between North Korea and China has increased 1000% in the last twelve years. Upon closer examination, it becomes apart that the economies Northeast China and North Korea are becoming intertwined. The Northeast provinces of China had hit some difficult times at the turn of the century). The increase in trade helped them substantially. Industry has stopped its decline and unemployment has stabilized. The main question that remains is: will this economic relationship continue on into the future.