This paper finds that Pyongyang's nuclear issue is by no means China's "primary contradiction (top priority)" in its international relations. Chinese priority on the Korean peninsula is to keep stability and the status quo of a divided Korea rather than rush to find a resolution to the nuclear issue, which may result in a military imbalance on the Peninsula, or the collapse of the Pyongyang regime and hurt China's interest. To this end, China has adopted the strategy of making a delicate balance between pressuring and sustaining the Pyongyang regime. The paper concludes that from Chinese perspectives, a North Korea at the nuclear threshold contributes to counterbalancing US military presence in the region, maintaining a status quo of divided Koreas and helping China overcome US containment. China aspires to achieve three interconnected objectives with this strategy. This first is to sustain China's economic growth, the second to counterattack US containment, and the third to propel China's rise at the systemic (global) level.
Ⅱ. China's S trategy of Resurgence
Ⅲ. Changing Dynamics and China-North Korea Relations
Ⅳ. The S cenarios o f North Korean Nuclear Issue and China's Options
Ⅴ. A Critical Appraisal of China's Incentives and Its Limits
Ⅵ. Concluding Remarks