BEIJING — China is sending a senior diplomat to go to North Korea as an envoy of President Xi Jinping, state media reported Wednesday, reopening a channel of dialogue with the remoted regime.
The announcement comes per week after President Trump visited China and requested Xi to work onerous to repair the issue of North Korea’s nuclear program. But it’s not clear whether or not this journey has something to do with that go to.
State-run Xinhua information company mentioned Song Tao, who heads the Communist Party’s exterior affairs division, will go to from Friday, to “inform” the federal government there concerning the just lately concluded Communist Party Congress that came about in Beijing.
Indeed, Beijing routinely undertakes such journeys to fellow Communist states after key get together conferences, and Song has already visited Vietnam and Laos on the same mission.
Xinhua didn’t say if Song would talk about North Korea’s nuclear program or meet President Kim Jong-un. Nevertheless it is a crucial alternative for Beijing to reopen a channel of dialogue with the remoted regime, specialists mentioned, as relations between the nations have deteriorated considerably in recent times.
China has an official particular envoy to North Korea, Kong Xuanyou, however he’s not believed to have visited Pyongyang since taking the job in August. His predecessor, Wu Dawei, final visited North Korea in February 2016, however Song would be the first ministerial-level go to since Politburo Standing Committee member Liu Yunshan visited Pyongyang and met Kim in October 2015.
Xi is believed to be very pissed off with North Korea’s aggressive improvement and testing of its nuclear and missile program, and has imposed a comparatively strict set of sanctions beneath U.S. stress and according to United Nations Security Council resolutions.
But China nonetheless dominates commerce with North Korea and is unwilling to chop off the regime’s financial lifeline, symbolized by a pipeline that provides the crude oil that retains the nation’s army and business afloat.
It doesn’t need to see a fellow Communist regime and long-standing ally toppled, however equally doesn’t need the present regime to show hostile and threaten China with its nuclear weapons and missiles.
“They still want to balance and they want to maintain some channels,” mentioned Paul Haenle, director of the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center in Beijing. “Relations have really deteriorated, and the Chinese recognize that. They don’t want relations to fall apart.”
Haenle mentioned the go to would possibly embody some “sweet talk” for Pyongyang about working collectively, however that the Chinese would even be making their displeasure recognized.
While in Beijing, Trump mentioned China can repair the North Korea downside “quickly and easily,” and urged Xi “to hopefully work on it very hard.”
“If he works on it hard, it will happen,” Trump mentioned. “There’s no doubt about it.”
After leaving China, he instructed extra motion by Beijing was developing.
“President Xi of China has stated that he is upping the sanctions against #NoKo. Said he wants them to denuclearize. Progress is being made,” Trump tweeted on Saturday.