State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi arrived in North Korea on Wednesday. At a time when the inter-Korean summit just concluded and the peninsula is geared up for the North Korea-US summit, Wang’s visit is heavily speculated upon. Some claim that China is worried about being marginalized and Wang was dispatched at this special moment to make diplomatic efforts.
Wang’s trip to Pyongyang first and foremost strengthens bilateral communication, implementing the decision reached by leaders of the two countries when they met in Beijing in March. That decision was propelled by dramatic change on the Korean Peninsula and driven by the restoration of the China-North Korea friendship.
The theory that China is being marginalized on the peninsula is a shallow attempt to manipulate public opinion. It is not a professional analysis, but an expression of dissatisfaction toward China. Beijing values concrete results more than international opinion. The meeting between Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and Chinese president, and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was kept confidential until it was concluded. But Seoul, for its own political purposes, created much hype about the inter-Korean summit. US President Donald Trump has started claiming credit for the Kim-Trump summit before it even starts.
If the US-North Korea relationship is the ceiling of North Korea nuclear issue, then Beijing-Pyongyang relations are the bottom line. Not only geographically linked to the Korean Peninsula, China is a political mainstay for North Korea and the biggest trade partner of both Koreas. China is essential to the UN framework for addressing the North Korea nuclear issue. Without China’s participation, it would be impossible to reach an agreement on denuclearization and permanent peace on the peninsula.
Developing Beijing-Pyongyang traditional friendship not only conforms to the interests of both countries but is also important to propelling the peninsula toward a permanent peace. China is a staunch supporter of North Korea in defending its legitimate interests in the process of denuclearization. A friendly China-North Korea relationship is also one of the stable sources for North Korea’s strategic confidence. China’s supervision of denuclearization of the peninsula and the establishment of a peace-building mechanism is also of substantive significance.
Beijing is willing to see the success of the inter-Korean summit and North Korea-US summit. To be precise, it is what China expects from the development of the situation on the peninsula. The changes in the peninsula situation since the beginning of this year are in line with China’s interests. It’s narrow-minded to speculate that China feels uncomfortable. Peace on the peninsula cannot be realized without the staunch support of China.
Chinese society sincerely hopes that the peace process on the peninsula will become irreversible. The Chinese people support the further development of friendly cooperation between China and North Korea. After Pyongyang announced a halt to its nuclear tests, the Chinese people released new goodwill toward Pyongyang.
North Korea has also shown enthusiasm for developing traditional friendship with China. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un met Song Tao, head of the international liaison department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China twice recently and visited injured Chinese tourists after a bus crash on a North Korean highway. These interactions make people optimistic about the prospects of bilateral relations.
Posted in: EDITORIAL