: Senate of the United States of America
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This important report compilation of testimony at a 2018 roundtable examined Chinese views on the likelihood of various potential North Korean contingencies, how China could play a role in the lead-up to or unfolding of such contingencies, and implications for the United States and the region. This roundtable explored the following: (1) Chinese thinking about potential crises and contingencies involving North Korea; (2) what the People's Liberation Army (PLA) and other stakeholders are doing to prepare for these various scenarios; (3) Chinese diplomatic activities in this area; and (4) geopolitical and security implications for the United States.This compilation includes a reproduction of the 2019 Worldwide Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community.Content: Panel Introduction by Senator James Talent (Roundtable Co-Chair) * 1. Carla Freeman, Ph.D. Associate Research Professor and Director of the Foreign Policy Institute, Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies * 2. Oriana Skylar Mastro, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Security Studies, Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University and Jeane Kirkpatrick Scholar, American Enterprise Institute * 3. Yun Sun, Co-Director of the East Asia Program and Director of the China Program, Stimson CenterTensions remain high on the Korean peninsula following last year's series of nuclear and missile tests by North Korea. Recent diplomatic efforts including President Trump's decision to hold a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and Kim's meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing present an opportunity--welcome--to deescalate tensions and find a negotiated solution to the crisis. However, the checkered history of nuclear diplomacy with North Korea should temper our expectations about the prospects for success. Even with the emerging diplomatic process, the potential for upheaval in the peninsula remains real. One question we'll explore today is what could happen that would cause a crisis? Although we cannot predict the future, understanding how a crisis could start will help us watch for signs of developing greater instability. Another issue that merits close examination is what could happen in the aftermath of a contingency in North Korea? What might the long-term political future of the Korean peninsula look like? Is it possible to achieve both denuclearization and stability given the competing the priorities of the United States, China, North Korea and South Korea? What about Japan and Russia? Forging a common vision that addresses the major concerns of all parties will pose a difficult challenge. If the North Korean regime does collapse, whether from its internal weakness or in the course of a conflict, the United States will have to secure American interests on the peninsula while minimizing the risks of armed conflict with China. Effective mechanisms for cooperation and deconfliction with Beijing could help reduce the likelihood of miscalculations that result in clashes between U.S. and Chinese military forces. The Commission will continue to watch the situation in North Korea closely as it constitutes a major issue in U.S.-China relations and threatens the stability of Northeast Asia.