Book Review · History

The Reason Why China Won’t Let North Korea Cease to Exist

Korea, a country that had been long shattered by the endless war between the both sides that had been divided by the cold war era ideologies since the end of Korean War in 1953. Now after the end of the cold war in 1991, unlike germany who decided to reunite themselves not long before the collapsing of the soviet union, these two Koreas still decided to split up amidst the strong wave of de-communist-isation in  most part of the globe. Even China, in their daily practice still recognise communism as their way of life, but the fact is, there are a lot of capitalism practices occured in all over China after Chinese Leader Deng Xiao Ping loosened the command market in China and embraced foreign money flows into China. China as well, slowly but sure doesn’t practice communism-socialism in their daily activities like the way Soviet Union did.

Now, the decades after the end of cold war, one country remains practising this dull and failing economic system that had been proved causing widespread famine, poverty, ineficiencies and corruption upon its people. That country is Democratic People’s Republic of Korea or it’s also well known as North Korea.

North Korea, a country which covers an area as vast as Greece, is still applying communism-socialism on their daily economic activities. For so long this country couldn’t nearly stand up by its own feet. North Korea always depend on the aids coming from its allies such as Soviet Union, China and other communist states. After the Soviet Union was gone for more than twenty years ago, United States was trying to help this poor country to at least replenish its basic needs like food, hoping that maybe in the future this country would open its curtain and lay down its nuclear arms. But in the end, this country still remains closed to western countries and after receiving the helps from its mortal enemy, North Korea keep cursing United States. Believing that all of these misfortunes were carried by the United States.

So actually, this country is almost similar to parasite for both China and the United States. These two countries won’t benefit anything from the existence of this dying country. But why China eager to support the presence of North Korea? To look for the answer, you may read a book written based on the records and information gathered from the escapee from North Korea who  had succesfully managed to bust out from the north korean’s Gulag which is notorious for its bad reputation in maintaining its inmates. “Escape from Camp 14”, a book written by Blaine Harden based on the memoirs of one its ex-inmate Shin-Dong Hyuk who now lives in United States.

Now back to the topic, Why does Chinese government prefer to waste its money on North Korea rather than letting it go united with its brothers in the capitalistic south? Surely China will save a lot of money by doing so, won’t they? According to the book, the answer lies on one of the province in China who directly shares border with the North Korea, Yanbian.



Yanbian, a chinese province that covered an area of 43,509km2 and now it is occupied by more than two million people who has Korean roots in their blood. Some of them are even still speaking in korean as their daily conversation language. The Chinese government worries that if the North Korea would have decided to unite with the south, Yanbian would ask the same proposal to join with its brothers in united Korea as well. It is just like exactly what happesn in Ukraine recently with Crimea. If China also letting Yanbian leave, it will also cause the chain reaction that could possibly dismantle this fourth biggest country in the world. Tibet and Xinjiang currently are the two provinces who strongly struggling to earn their rights to form their own government.

The only main reason why China wants to preserve North Korea is to create the buffer state between capitalist South Korea who is allied with Japan and United States and communist china (although it’s not so communist anymore) to prevent the capitalist influence to cross to China from South Korea and also to maintain the unity and the sovereignty of its country.

Furthermore, not all of the South Korean citizens share the same idea of united Korea. They prefer to maintain their current status with the communist Korea, divided and under the state of war.


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