International Relations

The China-North Korea Alliance in an Era of Renewed Strategic Competition



2021 marked the 60th anniversary of the Sino-North Korean Mutual Aid and Cooperation Friendship Treaty, signed in Beijing on July 11, 1961. Renewed every 20 years, the treaty remains in force today. Moreover, it is the only formal defense treaty Beijing or Pyongyang have with any other country. This poster examines the conditions surrounding the treaty's initial negotiations and establishment and contrasts that with circumstances upon its fourth renewal in 2021. Even in the face of significant changes in the strategic environment for both states over the past six decades, the deal has stood the test of time. Yet, despite this endurance, questions remain. For example, how does this seemingly legacy formal treaty square with a contemporary view from Beijing that eschews formal treaties in favor of less constraining mechanisms for international diplomacy, commerce, and possibly even defense, such as the Belt and Road Initiative?


Thumbnail image of 20220916_Sampson_final poster.pdf

Supplementary weblinks

APSA 2022 iPoster link
This is the format of the poster as presented in Montreal. It contains interactive video portions.


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