China Reopens North Korean Border for Tourism
Image Credit: flickr/ Prince Roy

China Reopens North Korean Border for Tourism


Every week, The Diplomat’s editorial team scours the web to find the best material on all things China. From Beijing’s relations with its neighbors and growing military might, to a rapidly evolving economy and amazing arts and culture, we present a diverse grouping of articles for your reading pleasure.

Here are our top picks for this week. What did we miss? Want to share an important article with other readers? Please submit your links in the comment box below!

The Kunming city government in Yunnan Province has posted a statement “strictly” forbidding any demonstrations during the China-South Asia Expo next week. According to the Global Times, the statement “vows to punish violators severely.” Kunming has been the scene of two protests this month over a proposal to build a chemical plant nearby. GT quotes a local resident as saying that a larger protest has been organized to coincide with the opening day of the expo.

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GT also reports that several travel agencies along China's border with North Korea in Dandong, Liaoning Province have said that local authorities have lifted restrictions on allowing tourism into the DPRK. The agencies said they had initially received a notice to seize providing guided tours in North Korea on April 10th.

China released a policy directive on Friday that seeks to reduce the role of the state in the economy. The directive followed a bold speech on the same topic that was delivered by Premier Li Keqiang. Many experts are praising the directive as being both significant and bold.

Chinese director Jia Zhangke won the best screenplay award at the Cannes Film Festival for A Touch of Sin, a Chinese-language film “based on true events” that follows four individuals in China whose life is touched by corruption. Despite the subject matte,r the film will be shown uncut in mainland China, according to Jia, and will be released in the U.S. later this year.

The Washington Post reports that a confidential internal Pentagon report written by the Defense Science Board found that around two dozen major U.S. defense systems had been hacked by people in China. Wapo’s World Views blog has a description of the major systems mentioned in the Pentagon report. The Pentagon has dismissed the seriousness of the hack, prompting some to speculate the U.S. is feeding cyber hackers disinformation.

Also in U.S.-China relations this week, National Security Adviser Tom Donilon was in China from Sunday to Tuesday preparing for the meeting between Xi Jinping and Barack Obama in California early next month. While there Donilon met with Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission Gen. Fan Changlong, Vice Premier Wang Yang, and President Xi Jinping among others. Cybersecurity is expected to feature prominently in the Xi-Obama summit next month. Meanwhile, the New York Times reports that China and the U.S. are both struggling to define what a “new type of great power relationship” truly means.

Bonus: James Mann has a lengthy profile of Tom Donilon over at Foreign Policy.

Meanwhile, China is the latest factor dividing the European Union.

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