In addition to China's new role, several other changes occurred that differentiated GTI from TRADP. First, each country adopted the initiative as its own national development project, while loosely cooperating in the five focused areas of "trading, tourism, transportation, energy, and environment." (8) The area encompassed by GTI was also extended beyond the larger triangle of the first project and was no longer triangular in shape.
TRADP is generally judged to have failed in the sense that it did not achieve the goals or realize the dreams that were conceived at the beginning of the project.
For China's central government, TRADP presented a means of achieving subregional development that was more attractive than joining already existing regional economic groups such as APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) that were closely linked with the Western market system represented by the United States and Japan (Christoffersen 1996).
Last but not least, China's need to secure a seaport on the Pacific and counterbalance unequal development between its northeastern and southeastern regions provided a major impetus for its active participation in the TRADP. The designation of Hunchun as a special economic zone and heavy investment in its infrastructure are proof of the Chinese government's commitment to the development of Northeast Asia.
Unfortunately, Kim's death occurred at the beginning of the TRADP, and the great famine and suspected development of nuclear weapons in North Korea that followed in the mid-1990s put the DPRK on a course opposite from the development trajectory envisaged by the TRADP.
In 1993, at the same time as TRADP's inception, China became a net oil importer and had to put forward a state policy for its future supply of oil from abroad (Christoffersen 2004).