Posted October. 05, 2009 08:20,
In the wake of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabaos rare visit to North Korea, speculation is rising over what gift he will bring to North Korea.
On if Wen will offer food and oil aid to North Korea, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu told a news briefing last week that Beijing has provided aid to Pyongyang whenever possible.
North Korea is in desperate need of Chinas economic support amid international sanctions over its long-distance rocket launch and a nuclear test earlier this year and suspended aid from South Korea due to strained relations.
Pyongyang allowed Beijing to save face by inviting a senior Chinese official at a time when a breakthrough is being sought on Pyongyangs nuclear program. The invitation also obligates China to pay the price.
Only indirect speculation is surrounding the size of Beijings aid to Pyongyang. North Korea built Taedan Friendship Glass Plant with 24 million U.S. dollars from China when Chinese President Hu Jintao visited Pyongyang in October 2005.
Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping reportedly granted 5,000 tons of airplane fuel and 100 million yuan (146,466 dollars) of aid to North Korea when he visited Pyongyang in June last year.
Therefore, North Korea watchers expect Wen to offer aid corresponding to his status.