Connect with us

News

Xi and Kim exchange messages in which they reaffirm the China-North Korea alliance.

Published

on

Xi and Kim exchange messages in which they reaffirm the China-North Korea alliance.
google news
Xi and Kim exchange messages in which they reaffirm the China-North Korea alliance.

Xi and Kim exchange messages in which they reaffirm the China-North Korea alliance.

 

Following heated talks between top diplomats from Washington and Beijing, as well as political isolation and economic problems in the North that have made it increasingly reliant on China, the leaders of China and North Korea are reaffirming their traditional alliance.

While exchanging messages with Chinese President Xi Jinping, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un called for greater “unity and cooperation” with China in the face of challenges faced by “hostile forces,” according to the North’s official Korean Central News Agency.

According to KCNA and China’s Xinhua news agency, Xi characterized bilateral ties as a “valuable asset” for both countries and pledged to make unspecified contributions to the Korean Peninsula’s peace and stability in his own message to Kim.

According to KCNA, Xi also pledged to “improve the lives of the populations of the two countries.” Some observers interpreted this as a sign that China would soon resume supplying North Korea with much-needed food, fertilizer, and other assistance, which had been severely curtailed due to the pandemic border closures.

According to Xinhua, the messages were exchanged during a meeting in Beijing on Monday between Chinese senior diplomat Song Tao and North Korean Ambassador to China Ri Ryong Nam.

The leaders’ meeting comes as the Biden administration intensifies diplomatic efforts to reinforce cooperation with Asian allies South Korea and Japan in the face of North Korea’s nuclear threat and China’s increasing regional power.

In their first face-to-face meetings since President Joe Biden took office, top US and Chinese officials exchanged sharp and unusually public barbs in Alaska last week, where Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Washington is united with its allies in pushing back against Chinese authoritarianism.

The tense talks in Anchorage came after Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin visited Japan and South Korea for talks focusing primarily on North Korea and China.

Blinken harshly criticized North Korea’s nuclear aspirations and human rights record during his visit to Seoul, and urged China to use its “tremendous strength” to persuade the North to denuclearize.

The North has so far rejected Biden’s administration’s outreach efforts, stating that it will not participate in constructive talks with the US unless Washington abandons what Pyongyang regards as “hostile” policies, which explicitly refers to US-led sanctions and pressure on its nuclear program.

According to KCNA, Kim discussed the state of the North’s ties with the US and South Korea, saying that contact between him and Xi was essential in the face of changing “external circumstances and facts,” presumably referring to the new US administration.

According to KCNA, Kim’s message “emphasized the need to reinforce the solidarity and cooperation between the two sides and two countries to deal with hostile powers’ all-around threats and obstructive steps.”

According to Cheong Seong-Chang, director of North Korea studies at South Korea’s private Sejong Institute, Kim’s message to Xi was obviously in response to Blinken and Lloyd’s visits to Japan and South Korea last week, which signaled the start of the Biden administration’s attempts to establish a coordinated strategy with its allies on North Korea.

Xi did not publicly express his support for Kim’s announced plans to expand the North’s nuclear capabilities, according to Cheong, instead emphasizing regional stability.

This demonstrates that China prefers diplomacy to a resurgence of tensions on the Korean Peninsula, and that, considering its differences with the US, it might support a resumption of talks between Washington and Pyongyang, he said.

China had called for a “two-track solution” to the dispute, in which the US would provide security assurances in return for North Korea dropping its nuclear weapons programs.

The Anchorage meetings reflected deteriorating US-China relations, which are at odds over a variety of issues ranging from trade to human rights in Tibet, Hong Kong, and China’s western Xinjiang region, as well as Taiwan, China’s assertiveness in the South China Sea, and the coronavirus pandemic.

In response to Blinken’s criticism of his government, Communist Party foreign affairs chief Yang Jiechi said Beijing had no intention of backing down on any issue and that the US should refrain from imposing its own version of democracy at a time when the US is experiencing domestic unrest.

North Korea worked to boost ties with China, its traditional ally and economic lifeline, as it attempted diplomacy with the US beginning in 2018. Kim, on the other hand, has little to show for his ambitious summits with then-President Trump, which failed in 2019 due to differences over the release of crippling US-led sanctions against North Korea in exchange for the North’s disarmament efforts.

Pandemic border closures and catastrophic natural disasters that wiped out crops last summer have contributed to the North’s economic woes. Kim pledged to accelerate the North’s nuclear program at a ruling party congress in January, and urged his people to persevere in the battle for economic independence.

North Korea’s trade volume with China dropped by 75% in the first ten months of 2020, according to South Korea’s spy agency, which told lawmakers late last year. This resulted in a shortage of raw materials, which slowed North Korean factory operations to their lowest level since Kim took power in late 2011, as well as an increase in the price of imported foods such as sugar and seasonings.

Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was scheduled to arrive in South Korea later Tuesday for discussions on North Korea and other regional issues. Public squabbles between Washington and Moscow erupted this week after Biden referred to Russian President Vladimir Putin as a “killer” and said Putin would “pay a price” for his attempts to sabotage the 2020 presidential election in the United States during an ABC interview.

google news

Trending