Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan take a walk with Kim Jong Un, leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, and his wife Ri Sol Ju at the state guest house in Pyongyang on June 21 (XINHUA)
The ties between China and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) have entered a new era, Chinese President Xi Jinping said during his visit to the DPRK on June 20-21. He said the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the Chinese Government will stay committed to maintaining, consolidating and nurturing bilateral ties, and China is willing to work with the DPRK to create a bright future for the relationship.
This year marks the 70th anniversary of diplomatic ties between China and the DPRK. Xi's visit is regarded as adding a new chapter of friendship between the two countries and contributing to stability on the Korean Peninsula. The following is an edited article on Xi's visit to the DPRK based on Xinhua News Agency reports:
When Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in the DPRK on June 20, huge crowds lined up along the road, waving flags, holding flowers and shouting, "Long live the China-DPRK friendship" to show their welcome.
Kim Jong Un, Chairman of the Workers' Party of Korea and Chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the DPRK, welcomed Xi, who is also General Secretary of the Central Committee of the CPC, at the airport. Kim accompanied Xi to various activities during the visit.
As the two leaders agreed to stay true to their original aspirations and join hands to create a bright future for bilateral relations at a new starting point in history, Xi's visit was widely hailed as a visit of friendship and peace to consolidate China-DPRK friendship and promote a political solution to the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula.
Xi's visit, the first by Xi since he became president and the fifth meeting with Kim in 15 months, came at a time when the two countries are celebrating the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations.
The Chinese leader hailed the traditional friendship between the two countries as a shared valuable asset forged and left by leaders of elder generations of both countries at a welcome banquet on June 20.
Kim said that in their joint socialist construction endeavor, the DPRK and China have already formed a tradition of sharing weal and woe as well as supporting and cooperating with each other, adding that he and Xi have confirmed that upholding the socialist system is the core of maintaining the DPRK-China friendship.
In talks between the two leaders on June 20, Xi said that by reviewing the development of China-DPRK relations, an insightful conclusion can be drawn that it is the essential attribute of the relationship that both are socialist countries adhering to the leadership of a communist party.
Shared ideals, beliefs and goals are the driving force of the relationship, the continuous friendship between and strategic guidance by the top leaders are its greatest strength, and the geographical proximity and cultural affinity offer a sturdy bond, he added.
On June 21, Xi paid homage to martyrs of the Chinese People's Volunteer Army at the Friendship Tower, visited the exhibition hall of the tower and wrote in the inscription book "To remember the martyrs" and "The China-DPRK friendship lasts from generation to generation."
A bright future
During the visit, the two leaders jointly blueprinted the future of the bilateral relationship and agreed to take commemorating the 70th anniversary of diplomatic ties as an opportunity to expand practical cooperation and deepen friendly exchanges, according to Song Tao, head of the International Department of the CPC Central Committee.
In the face of the profound and complex changes in global and regional landscapes, China and the DPRK should strengthen high-level contacts to guide the development of their relations, Xi said on June 20.
China, he said, is ready to work with the DPRK to continue to implement the plan for commemorating the 70th anniversary of diplomatic ties, and conduct exchanges and cooperation in such fields as education, health, sports, media and youth as well as at local levels, so as to carry forward the traditional China-DPRK friendship and improve people-to-people exchanges.
Kim said it is an unswerving policy of the DPRK's party and government to carry forward the DPRK-China friendship from generation to generation.
At present, the party and people of the DPRK are making every effort to implement the new strategic line, Kim said, adding that his country is willing to learn more from China's experience and endeavor to develop the economy and improve people's livelihood.
As Xi said, the situation of the Korean Peninsula concerns regional peace and stability and a bright prospect for resolving the issue through dialogue has appeared over the past year, which has gained recognition and raised expectations in the international community.
During his visit, Xi spoke highly of the DPRK's efforts to promote the denuclearization of the peninsula and re-launch the process of a political settlement to the issue, stressing that China is ready to strengthen communication and coordination with the DPRK and other related parties on the issue so as to safeguard peace, stability and prosperity in the region.
The DPRK is willing to stay patient, and hopes that the relevant party will work with it to seek solutions that accommodate each other's legitimate concerns and push for results from the dialogue process, Kim said.
The DPRK highly appreciates the important role played by China in solving the Korean Peninsula issue, he said, adding that his country is ready to continue to strengthen communication and coordination with China to strive for new progress in the political settlement of the issue and safeguard peace and stability on the peninsula.
According to Song, Xi's state visit to the DPRK is a major diplomatic action that comes as the world is undergoing changes unseen in a century and the international situation is seeing complex and profound changes.
Observers claimed that Xi's visit to the DPRK is of great significance for advancing the political settlement process of the Korean Peninsula issue and safeguarding peace and stability in the region.
Xi's visit contributed to lasting peace and stability in the peninsula as well as in the region, said Lee Hee-ok, professor of political science at Sungkyunkwan University in Seoul and head of the Sungkyun Institute of China Studies.
Liu Di, a professor at Kyorin University in Tokyo, said he believes that the visit will help promote peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and even in East Asia.
Xi's remarks, saying the international community hopes that talks between the DPRK and the United States will move forward and bear fruit, reaffirmed China's consistent support for dialogue and consultation in solving the Korean Peninsula issue, Liu said.
Xi's visit again showed China's active and constructive role in Korean Peninsula affairs, he said.
Direction matters more than speed in solving the peninsula issue, said Konstantin Asmolov, a leading researcher at the Center for Korean Studies of the Institute of Far Eastern Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, noting that countries including China and the DPRK are actively pushing forward the process of a political settlement of the issue.
The visit reflects the solid relations between China and the DPRK, as well as China's critical role in solving the peninsula issue, said Duncan Freeman, a research fellow at the College of Europe in Bruges, Belgium.
"Obviously China has an extremely important role to play as a major country, as a major security actor," he said.
This visit also showed China's willingness to promote stability on the peninsula as a responsible major country in the international community, said Yu Jie, a senior researcher at the Royal Institute of International Affairs in the UK.
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