The changes in the Sino-US relationship clearly also affect the situation on the Korean Peninsula. The recently held fourth round of the six-party talks on the North Korean nuclear issue was the longest of the rounds. Although Russia (with China's blessing) used new ways of throwing US plans into disarray, the whole process shows that Washington has changed its policy and now is willing to keep negotiations going and reach a solution in order to deprive China of its "North Korean card." This places the US in a more advantageous position in its competition with China.
All signs point to China and the US now entering into a new version of the Cold War. The two are still important trading partners, but they are also becoming involved in a geopolitical struggle centering around their opposing energy strategies. This struggle is now heating up.
Chang Hsi-mo is an assistant professor at the Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies at National Sun Yat-sen University.
Translated by Daniel Cheng and Perry Svensson