China’s longtime allegiance with North Korea has long been a cause for concern for many in the international community. Despite the negative international opinion of China for this allegiance, they recently reaffirmed their support for the North Korea dictatorship. A recent UN report condemned the numerous human right violations occurring within North Korea’s borders. China came out in defense of their longtime ally criticizing the report of being “divorced from reality”.
While many are concerned with China’s assistance of a brutal, authoritarian government, the economic ramifications of the partnership provide a more interesting story. North Korea struggles to maintain an economy sufficiently large to support its own people, let alone provide any economic gain to China. The economic partnership between the two nations resembles a one-way
weigh street, with an influx of Chinese aid flowing into North Korea. Therefore, China must be weighing the economic cost of the partnership with the positive externalities. Mainly, through their allegiance with one of the only other nuclear powers in the region, China has greatly increased their security. Additionally, China has succeeded in extending its sphere of influence into one of the most isolated nations in the world. This emphasizes that countries must often make economically irrational decisions for the good of the country.