Beijing (GPA) – Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke with Kim Jong Un in a surprise meeting that took place in Beijing yesterday.
In his first trip abroad Kim Jong Un, leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) paid a surprise visit to Beijing in preparation for upcoming negotiations with South Korea and the US.
Both leaders and their wives met for talks the at Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Prior to discussions, both leaders enjoyed a banquet that included a Chinese art performance.
Once talks began, Kim expressed that he had come to Beijing to better inform Xi of the major recent developments in the ongoing diplomatic saga on the Korean Peninsula. According to Chinese media outlet Xinhua, part of Kim’s visit was also to “meet Chinese comrades, enhance strategic communication, and deepen traditional friendship.”
Despite some tension in the Chinese and Korean relationship lately over international sanctions, Xi, emphasized the importance of relations between Pyongyang and Beijing, saying of Kim that “Comrade Chairman and I have personally experienced and witnessed the development of China-DPRK relationship.” Xi emphasized that this relationship should continue to be cultivated, saying that “This is a strategic choice and the only right choice both sides have made based on history and reality, the international and regional structure and the general situation of China-DPRK ties. This should not and will not change because of any single event at a particular time.”
In order to further this relationship, Xi proposed four concrete steps to continue strengthening ties:
- Arrange for more high-level meetings in the future between representatives of China and the DPRK. Xi expresses that he feels it is important “to keep frequent contacts with Comrade Chairman through various forms such as exchange of visits, and sending special envoys and letters to each other.”
- Work towards building a closer relationship between the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the Korean Workers Party (KWP) to open lines of communication for inter-party dialogue on crucial issues and events.
- Find ways to integrate Socialism with Chinese characteristics and Korean Juche to “conform to the trend of the times, hold high the banner of peace, development, cooperation and mutual benefit, continuously improve the wellbeing of the two peoples, and make a positive contribution to regional peace, stability, and development.”
- “Consolidate the foundation of popular will for bilateral friendly relations” between China and the DPRK by expanding “people to people” and youth cultural exchange programs.
While there have been questions on how friendly China and the DPRK currently are, these four initiatives laid out by Xi show, that despite whatever current conditions may be, the relationship between these two revolutionary nations is on a good path.
It’s unclear what role China will play in the upcoming Korea talks if any. This does, however, show that Beijing will continue to stand by Pyongyang despite western efforts to split the two apart. With Trump’s current hostility and threats of a trade war with China, these talks have come at a key time to show both Xi and Kim who their real allies are.
Xi also expressed that he was aware of these western attempts to split his country from their brother socialist nation but stressed that the relationship is “a strategic choice and the only right choice for the sides to make based on history and reality.” Xi also warned that despite what western media might try to say, the alliance “should not and will not change because of any single event at a particular time.”
Kim was clearly heartened by Xi’s encouraging words and also his expressed his wish to “meet President Xi Jinping often.” Kim also extended an invitation for Xi to come to Pyongyang for a future meeting.
There was one piece of good news for the west, however, in the statements made by Kim where he expressed Pyongyang’s “consistent stand to be committed to denuclearization on the peninsula, in accordance with the will of late President Kim Il Sung and late General Secretary Kim Jong Il.” That said, Kim did also stipulated that “The issue of denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula can be resolved, if south Korea and the United States respond to our efforts with goodwill, create an atmosphere of peace and stability while taking progressive and synchronous measures for the realization of peace.”
These meetings between Xi and Kim show the potential of a possible renewal of DPRK-China relations. This happens as the Trump Regime alienates China with threats of tariffs and a trade war at an inopportune time as the Korea talks approach. With Trump taking a wrecking ball to US-China relations, Kim likely picked the perfect time to go to Beijing and has possibly secured a powerful partner that may mostly stick on his side during negotiations with South Korea next month.
Also published on Medium.