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'Xi’s visit to N. Korea could create conflict with U.S.,' sources say

'Xi’s visit to N. Korea could create conflict with U.S.,' sources say

Posted August. 29, 2018 07:41,   

Updated August. 29, 2018 07:41


While eyes are on whether Chinese President Xi Jinping will visit North Korea to attend the celebrations of the 70th anniversary of North Korea’s founding on September 9, voices warning of the risk of visiting North Korea have reportedly been raised within China. Some diplomats in Beijing predict that China will send a member of the Politburo Standing Committee to the ceremony and President Xi will visit North Korea some time later in September.

According to sources, Chinese experts are arguing that President Xi needs to visit North Korea on September 9 to completely recover and improve China-North Korea relations but at the same time expressing concerns that attending North Korea’s military parade could be risky since new weapons might appear at the parade and offend the United States. If President Xi is seen standing side by side with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the parade, it could give the impression that China and North Korea are joining forces against the United States.

The purpose of President Xi’s visit is to cement relations with North Korea, meaning that China is highly likely to promise economic cooperation and large-scale support to North Korea. Some Chinese experts worry that resuming economic cooperation with North Korea under the circumstance where the United States is maintaining sanctions against North Korea amid a deadlock in nuclear negotiations, could be seen as releasing sanctions against the reclusive country, thereby discrediting China in the international community.

Analysts point to that it is not fitting for President Xi to be treated equally with other leaders at the celebrations as the Chinese leader is returning his visit to North Korea, at its invitation, after the North Korean leader visited China three times this year. Others are concerned that President Xi could be taken advantage of by North Korea in its military parade and invite criticism from U.S. President Donald Trump.

Wan-Jun Yun zeitung@donga.com