China is generally considered the only major ally of North Korea, a regime viewed around the world as cruel, evil, and backward. But whatever the government in Beijing might think of its troublesome neighbour on the other side of the Yalu River, many Chinese people have developed a rather cooler attitude.
For some time now, China’s official discourse has framed its relation with North Korea as comradely and brotherly. This closeness goes back decades; even modest estimates say that during the Korean War of 1950-3, when China backed North Korea, well over 100,000 soldiers lost their lives. Most were young men in their early 20s, and some of their remains were only returned to China very recently. Continue reading “China’s leaders and citizens are losing patience with North Korea”