Li Zhanshu, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, kicked off his visit to North Korea Saturday as special representative of Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and Chinese president, and attended activities to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
Previously, Wang Yang, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, and Wang Qishan, China's vice president, attended the related receptions respectively held by the North Korean Embassy in Beijing and Chinese side. Li's North Korea visit further demonstrates the intensity of high-level exchanges between the two countries.
China and North Korea have a strong friendship. With North Korea reaffirming its goal of denuclearization, taking actions to demolish its only nuclear test site, and announcing it would no longer conduct missile tests, the main obstacles affecting China-North Korean relations in previous years have been rectified, and the previous friendly relationship between the two was restored. This is of great significance to the healthy development of bilateral relations.
Friendly relations between Beijing and Pyongyang are built on the historical circumstance and interests of both sides. The mutually beneficial cooperation has also promoted the development of the two while providing great potential for future cooperation.
However, there is something wrong with the way countries such as US, South Korea and Japan view China-North Korea relations. They only care about the North Korean nuclear crisis while ignoring the significance of bilateral relations to both countries. They hope the closeness of the bilateral relations will enable Beijing to influence Pyongyang's nuclear stance. They also hope for setbacks in bilateral relations for geopolitical reasons. In general, they have a complicated view of China-North Korea relations.
After the twists and turns of recent years, North Korea's nuclear stance is changing in accordance with the hopes of the international community. The China-North Korea relationship has also matured. But the US, South Korea and Japan still have a shaky stance on North Korea and China-North Korea relations. In addition to the uncertainties looming large on the denuclearization negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang, China-North Korea ties are still somewhat held back by external factors.
The US hopes that China can help solve the North Korean nuclear issue in a way that caters to its interests. Beijing must dispel the US' unrealistic expectations. For quite some time, Washington has complained about China "exerting negative pressure" on Pyongyang. China should not change its peninsula policy under such pressure, as it does no good for stability on the peninsula.
China has maintained friendly and cooperative relations with North Korea. It also supports North Korea to resume and develop normal ties with other countries. China welcomes cooperation between the two Koreas and negotiations between the US and North Korea. China pursues denuclearization and long-lasting peace in the Korean Peninsula. Playing geopolitical games on the peninsula is pointless.
The US, South Korea and Japan must clarify what exactly they want on the Korean Peninsula. They cannot have everything, especially things that contradict each other. If the US wishes for denuclearization and peace on the peninsula, it would see the value of China-North Korea ties and support them.