Chinese delegates at the 9th Asia Security Summit earlier this month in Singapore showed increased impatience with their North Korean ally, writes Wendell Minnick in Defense News, as an open debate seems impossible.
“There is no open debate on the North Korean issue in China,” [a Chinese academic] said. Unlike academic, media and government debates on Taiwan and relations with the U.S., there is no debate on North Korean issues due to fears of being harassed by North Korean embassy officials.
If a Chinese academic or media outlet writes something suggesting a change on Beijing’s policy on Pyongyang the North Korean embassy sends someone to “your office to complain,” he said.
“The North Koreans are very effective at silencing debate in China on North Korean issues.” It is a form of intimidation and a successful way of controlling debate that could lead to positive changes, he said.