A month after the execution of Jang Song-thaek, widely viewed as North Korea’s second-most-powerful leader, China remains stymied in relations with its reclusive, defiant neighbor. This is not a new story. Though few in Beijing are prepared to admit it, China’s policies toward North Korea have long been a conspicuous failure.

China’s official reactions to the North’s internal power struggle have, thus far, been limited largely to formulaic calls for internal stability. But Mr. Jang’s ouster must be deeply disquieting to senior Chinese policy makers, who yet again find themselves on the outside looking in.

By JONATHAN D. POLLACK in The New York Times.

To see the full article, go here: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/13/opinion/why-does-china-coddle-north-korea.html?ref=opinion&_r=0