Is China Unnerved by the Summit Between two Koreas?

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Kim Jong-un

The long-standing standoff involving North Korea’s nuclear weapons program which has been played out over quite some time brought Kim Jong-un to the center-stage while China is lagging behind.

North Korean leader Kim is scheduled to hold an important summit with South Korean leader Moon Jae-in, run up to its all-important meeting with US President Donald Trump before the end of May.

Kim Jong-un

It seems time was slipping away from Chinese President Xi Jinping forming a new political order in north-east Asia.

For your kind info, Kim reached Beijing on 26th of April in a 21-carriage train under heavy police security on his first overseas trip, amid hopes of Chinese President boarding the same.

Paul Haenle, one of the key National Security Official in both Bush and Obama administration feels that China is not so comfortable with the summit between Kim and Moon, before meeting Trump.

Beijing has a deep interest and huge stakes have been involved in the outcomes of upcoming summit between both Korean leaders and would never want to be just a spectator when important diplomacy unfolds.

It’s true that North Korea draws inspiration from China; same is true for Kim Jong-un from Xi Jinping side when the pair needed each other most.

While speaking to reporters, Kim took notes when Xi spoke and nodded to his host’s words and in return, he addressed the media from a pre-prepared script.

In the entire press conference, a North Korean leader was never appeared to be the junior partner. It seemed Mr. Xi was desperate to sneak into the driver’s seat, ahead of meeting between two Korean leaders.

According to a senior strategic thinker at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Washington that Xi wanted to ensure that Chinese interests are protected in any of future political order.

No matter what strategic thinkers may evaluate, one message is loud and clear that is both China and North Korea remains allies, irrespective of Kim’s waywardness.

Of course, there’s the bit of uneasiness growing between China and North Korea because of new north-east Asia political order, ideally different from a resumption of the usual order of which has served China and North Korea well in the past.

The historic relationship has been born between the battlefields of the 1950-53 Korean War. To use Mao Tse-tung’s famous analogy, they are closer than “lips and teeth”.

A time when Beijing backing hard-hitting sanctions on Kim’s regime and with a series of missile launches, Pyongyang caused fears in China that the relation between two neighbors had been soured.

Experts believe that North Korea seems to be mending those fences with China which could provide a boost for Kim going into the talks.

However, Hua Po, a Beijing-based independent commentator on North Korean issues accesses that Kim’s meetings with his South Korean counterpart are not going to be easy or smooth but will be a complicated and tough process. So, Kim had to come to Beijing in advance to talk with Chinese leaders to reach a consensus.

 

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