Park Geun-hye and Xi Jinping hold summit in Hangzhou

Park, Xi hold summit amid THAAD row

South Korean President Park Geun-hye (5th from L) hold summit talks with her Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping (5th from R) in Hangzhou, eastern China, on Sept. 5, 2016. The meeting came amid strains in their relations over the planned deployment of a U.S. anti-missile system, the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system, in South Korea. (Yonhap) (END)

Source : Yonhap News Agency

Xi Jinping congratulates Kim Jong-un in Worker´s Party

BEIJING, Oct. 9 (Yonhap) — Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday congratulated North Korea’s young leader, Kim Jong-un, on the 70th anniversary of the founding of the North’s Workers’ Party, hoping that North Korean people could make “new and greater achievements” under the leadership of Kim.

In a congratulatory message sent to Kim, Xi extended “warm congratulations” to Kim, according to Chinese state-run media. North Korea is set to hold a huge military parade on Saturday to mark the anniversary with Liu Yunshan, a member of the Chinese Communist Party’s politburo standing committee, attending.

“Xi expressed his sincere wish that the DPRK (North Korea) people, under the leadership of the WPK (Workers’ Party of Korea) headed by First Secretary Kim Jong Un, would keep making new and greater achievements in the cause of Korean-style socialist construction,” Xinhua news agency reported.

Xi hailed the “glorious tradition” of the friendship between North Korea and China.

“China is willing to make joint efforts with the DPRK comrades to well maintain, consolidate and develop the friendship between China and the DPRK in the interest of the two countries and two peoples, so as to play a positive and constructive role in maintaining regional as well as world peace and stability,” Xi said in the message.

Kim, who took power in late 2011 following the death of his father, has yet to meet with Xi.

Political ties between China and its only treaty ally, North Korea, remain strained, particularly after the North’s third nuclear test in February 2013.

However, few analysts believe that China will exert enough pressure on the North to give up its nuclear weapons because it could lead to the collapse of the North’s regime and hurt China’s national interests.



Yonhap News Agency

Xi Jinping sends message to Kim Jong-un on friendly ties and regional peace

Chinese President Xi Jinping has sent a message to North Korea’s leader to mark the 67th anniversary of the North Korean government’s founding, hoping to consolidate their friendly ties and ensure regional peace, the North’s media said Wednesday.

Xi’s message came as relations between Beijing and Pyongyang have been frayed following the North’s nuclear test in early 2013 and missile tests. North Korea is China’s only treaty ally.

China’s leader sent the congratulatory message to the North’s young leader, Kim Jong-un, on Tuesday as Pyongyang celebrates the 67th anniversary of the founding of the North Korean government on Wednesday, according to the Korean Central News Agency.

“We will join the DPRK to promote a protracted, sound and stable development of the China-DPRK relations, steadily consolidate the friendly and cooperative relations between the two countries and thus make a positive contribution to peace, stability and development in the region,” Xi was quoted as saying by the KCNA.

The DPRK is the acronym of North Korea’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

China sends a congratulatory message to the North every year on the occasion of the North’s founding anniversary. But analysts said that this year’s message reflects China’s intent to mend its ties with the North while warning against possible provocation.

The message came as North Korea is widely expected to launch a long-range missile on Oct. 10, the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Workers’ Party.

Xi held a summit with President Park Geun-hye in Beijing last week, the sixth such meeting between the two leaders since Park took office in early 2013.

Park expressed gratitude to Xi for the constructive role Beijing has played in defusing heightened tensions on the Korean Peninsula The North’s leader has yet to visit China since taking power in late 2011 in an indication of the chilly ties between the North and China.

Choe Ryong-hae, secretary of the Central Committee of North Korean Workers’ Party, attended China’s high-profile military parade held last week. But diplomatic sources said that Xi did not hold a one-on-one meeting with Choe.

The Unification Ministry refrained from officially commenting on the meaning of Xi’s message.

“It is not proper to make comments as it is a matter between China and North Korea. It has been a diplomatic tradition that the two sides have exchanged congratulatory messages,” Jeong Joon-hee, ministry spokesman, told a regular press briefing.

Chang Yong-seok, a researcher at the Seoul National University Institute for Peace and Unification Studies, said that Xi’s message appears to be intended to mend fences with Pyongyang for diplomatic balance amid signs of deepening ties between Beijing and Seoul. (Yonhap)


The Korea Herald

Choe Ryong-hae returns home empty-handed: sources

BEIJING, Sept. 3 (Yonhap) — A key aide to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has failed to hold talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing where a military parade marking the 70th anniversary of China’s World War II victory took place, sources said Thursday.

Choe Ryong-hae, a member of the Politburo Presidium and the secretary of the Central Committee of North Korea’s ruling Workers’ Party, flew back to Pyongyang Thursday afternoon after attending the parade at Tiananmen Square in the morning, the sources said.

Although he did attend a reception that shortly followed, Choe failed to hold a one-on-one talk with Xi, they added.

Choe’s short trip stands in contrast to a three-day visit by South Korean President Park Geun-hye to China.

Park arrived in Beijing Wednesday and together with Xi, warned the North against more provocations amid speculations that it may carry out a missile or nuclear test in October to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Workers’ Party.

It remains unclear, however, whether Choe held talks with other Chinese officials while there. But with no meeting with Xi, Choe is unlikely to have carried a hand-written letter from Kim.

Analysts are divided as to what role Choe was expected to play for North Korea-China relations. Some have argued Choe was sent to mend recently frayed ties, while others have said the fact Kim decided against visiting China himself suggests anti-Chinese sentiment.



Yonhap News

Park-Xi summit to focus on North Korea

Leaders of South Korea and China are set to discuss ways to curb North Korea‘s nuclear ambitions and boost peace in Northeast Asia at a bilateral summit planned for Wednesday amid tension abating on the Korean Peninsula after breakthrough talks last week.

President Park Geun-hye will leave for China for a three-day trip to attend a celebration to mark the end of World War II, but she will hold a summit with her Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping as soon as she arrives in Beijing, Park’s senior foreign affairs secretary Ju Chul-ki said Monday. It will be their sixth summit since she entered the office in early 2013.


“The leaders will intensively discuss ways to bolster the bilateral relationship, and also on the Korean Peninsula and regional security,” said Ju at a press briefing.

Park‘s trip is expected to highlight her efforts to address North Korea’s evolving nuclear threat and secure a delicate balance amid the intensifying rivalry between Beijing and Washington.

On Sept. 3, China plans to commemorate the 70th anniversary of its victory, widely seen as a showcase of its growing military strength and its attempt to highlight Japan’s surrender in the war. Many Western leaders, however, remain reluctant, with concerns of the event further stoking Beijing’s rivalry with Japan.

Park is the only leader of a U.S.-allied country to make an official announcement to attend the Beijing ceremony. Japanese Premier Shinzo Abe said he would skip the event, citing domestic obligations, which has placed Park in an awkward position and highlighted Japan’s alliance with China’s rival, the U.S.

Despite concerns, Park is scheduled to attend a rare parade to be staged at Tiananmen Square, with other leaders including Russian President Vladmir Putin and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also attending.

Ju stressed that Park’s decision to attend the parade was made after “much consideration” and taking various factors into account such as bilateral ties between Seoul and Beijing and the growing geographic tensions in Northeast Asia.

“We hope to promote peace, harmony and cooperation in Northeast Asia and beyond by setting up a correct perception and evaluation on the past history through the event,” he said.

Ju also expressed hopes for Beijing to play a bigger role in the future on resolving North Korea’s nuclear ambition and on achieving a peaceful unification of the two Koreas.

After the meeting with Xi, Park will also hold separate talks with Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang to seek ways to further develop bilateral ties amid growing fears on the volatile regional economy.

To strengthen business ties with China, South Korea’s largest trading partner, a large group of business representatives will be accompanying Park on her trip. The two sides will work closely to highlight the need for parliamentary approval for the Korea-China free trade agreement within this year. China is South Korea’s largest trade partner. Trade volume between South Korea and China stood at $228.9 billion in 2013.

By Cho Chung-un (


The Korea Herald

Chinese president visits Shenyang near Korea DPR

Chinese President Xi Jinping traveled to the northeastern city of Shenyang near the border with North Korea on Monday in a trip that could be seen as a message of willingness to improve relations with Pyongyang, diplomatic sources said.

Xi made a one-day visit to Shenyang and stressed the importance of promoting industrial bases in the northeastern region, according to local businessmen and diplomatic sources. Xi also called for greater efforts to open up the province of Liaoning, they said.

The visit came just nine days after Xi traveled to the nearby province of Jilin on July 16-18, a trip seen as leaving open the possibility of economic cooperation with North Korea.

Such successive visits to the northeast region near the North are considered unusual, and some observers interpret these trips as a message of his willingness to mend fences with Pyongyang.

Relations between North Korea and China significantly soured after Xi took office in late 2012 and the North carried out its third nuclear test a few months later, a provocative move seen as a slight to Beijing.

Xi has neither visited the North nor met with its young leader, Kim Jong-un, although he visited the South and held a series of summit meetings with South Korean President Park Geun-hye. He is the first Chinese leader to visit South Korea before North Korea.

In a move seen as an olive branch to China, the North’s leader also expressed gratitude for China’s help during the 1950-53 Korean War as he delivered a speech marking the end of the conflict. Kim did not even mention China in a similar speech last year.

China has long been the main provider of economic aid and diplomatic support for the North.

Analysts say that China, which considers North Korea as something of a buffer zone, fears that pushing Pyongyang too hard could lead to its collapse, instability on its border and ultimately the emergence of a pro-U.S. nation next door. (Yonhap)


The Korea Herald

China says ‘no information’ on possible Kim Jong-un and Xi Jinping meeting in Russia

Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg Flag of North Korea.svg


BEIJING, March 18 (Yonhap) — China said Wednesday that it had “no information at the moment” on the possibility of a bilateral meeting in Russia between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and Chinese President Xi Jinping, who are among world leaders attending a World War II anniversary in Moscow.

Russia’s foreign ministry said Tuesday that Kim and Xi are among 26 leaders who have accepted invitations to join the May 9 ceremony marking the 70th anniversary of the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany in World War II.

North Korea has not officially commented on a possible visit by Kim to Moscow, but it would be Kim’s first overseas trip since taking the helm of the reclusive state three years ago.

Asked whether Xi would hold a bilateral meeting with Kim on the sidelines of the May 9 ceremony in Moscow, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei replied, “I have no relevant information at the moment.”

Hong did not elaborate further.

North Korea is China’s only formal treaty ally, but Beijing’s leadership has appeared to become increasingly frustrated by the North’s nuclear and missile ambitions.

Analysts say North Korea won’t give up its nuclear weapons program because having it would prolong the Kim regime and help obtain political and economic benefits from the international community.

With China cold-shouldering North Korea’s nuclear policy, Pyongyang is seeking to deepen both diplomatic and economic ties with Russia.




Australia scores ‘most favoured nation’ provisions in FTA with China

March 13, 2015 – 7:35AM

John Garnaut

Asia Pacific editor for Fairfax Media


Chinese Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Trade Minister Andrew Robb and Prime Minister Tony Abbott at the signing of the Declaration of Intent on Australia's FTA agreement with China in November.

Chinese Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Trade Minister Andrew Robb and Prime Minister Tony Abbott at the signing of the Declaration of Intent on Australia’s FTA agreement with China in November.

Australia’s biggest-ever bilateral trade deal is set to grow much bigger, with China agreeing to a special ratchet clause that will ensure that future benefits conferred to other countries will flow automatically to Australia.

The much-coveted “most favoured nation” provisions in the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement have been kept under wraps at the request of Chinese neogitators, who were pursuing a parallel deal with South Korea.

Trade Minister Andrew Robb confirmed the MFN provisions in an interview with Fairfax Media.

“This is huge, I think,” said Mr Robb.

“It means that we will automatically receive the same treatment provided by China to any other country in the future including the EU and the United States.”

Australian negotiators, analysts and industry bodies were surprised at the range of liberalisation commitments that China committed to during President Xi Jinping’s visit to Canberra in November.

The full text, which will not be released until later this year, will include unprecedented commitments over a range of services sectors including education and financial services.

Some China analysts speculated that Mr Xi may have been using the Australia trade deal as a lever to liberalise his own economy, which is starting to strain under the weight of bad debts and rash investments.

The previously-unreported MFN mechanisms take the deal to another level.

Australian negotiators are most enthused by potential MFN gains on the investment side. The “prize” will be a special “negative list” feature that China looks set to provide the US under a bilateral investment treaty, which would greatly increase the range of Australian investment opportunites.

Similarly, Australian fund managers could potentially gain majority ownership rights in Chinese counterpart firms, up from a ceiling of 49 per cent in the existing FTA, if the US manages to get what it is seeking.

“This MFN clause was something we had long sought but didn’t really believe we could get,” said Geoff Raby, the former ambassador to China who had been involved with negotiations for a decade before stepping down to take on corporate directorships and advisory roles.

“It is a big achievement by Robb and the team to have secured this.”

Mr Robb told Fairfax Media that the MFN provisions will apply to investment and services chapters.

He said a separate review mechanism has been built into the “goods” provisions, which will apply three years after the agreement enters into force and then every five years thereafter.

“On most fronts, if not all, those will be protected, locked in, in the future when China make concessions with other countries,” said Mr Robb.

“Overall this means we have substantially [greater] preferential arrangements than any other trading partner.”

Dr Raby, a director of Fortescue, said there had been considerable political resistance on both sides when he first floated the idea of a China trade deal to his ministers in 2003, when the Howard Government was concluding a trade deal with the US.

He said Chinese officials had been been anxious that they had paid too high a price for accession to the World Trade Organisation and Australians were unhappy at having to grant China “market economy” status even before negotiations had begun.

“It was the first time a developed country had engaged China on this idea,” he said.

Dr Raby said the MFN provisions would be particularly important for investors because China was negotiating an ambitious bilateral investment agreement with the US.

“It is extremely valuable as it preserves our position as China negotiates other FTAs so the benefits which we have ‘paid’ for in the negotiations can’t be whittled away,” said Dr Raby.

Jennifer Westacott, Chief Executive of the Business Council of Australia, said the MFN deal would keep Australia “on a level playing field with key competitors for valuable trade with what is the growth engine of the world.”

“This opens the door to deep access to Chinese markets and a greater capacity to further diversify the Australian economy,” she said.

Tim Harcourt, former chief economist at Austrade, agreed that the China deal had surpassed expectations but he also warned that great challenges lay ahead in the implementation.

“At the end of the day it’s the internal decisions you have to deal with in China, where so much is determined by administrative fiat,” said Dr Harcourt, now a lecturer and researcher in the MBA program at the University of NSW.

“FTA or no FTA, you still have to have those connections to get your deal up,” he said. “You’ve got to have the [Chinese Communist Party’s] blessing right down through the ranks.”


Source : The Canberra Times

Barack Obama and Xi Jinping to ‘complete’ denuclearization of Korea DPR


United States President Barack Obama said Wednesday that he and Chinese President Xi Jinping renewed their commitment to a “complete denuclearization” of North Korea, saying that the North’s defiant pursuit of nuclear weapons will not succeed.

“President Xi and I reaffirmed the commitment of complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and we agreed that North Korea will not succeed in pursuing nuclear weapons and economic development,” Obama told reporters during a press conference with Xi after their two-day bilateral summit in Beijing.

Xi repeated China’s stance that nations should make joint efforts to resume long-stalled six-party talks at an early date.

“China is firmly committed to achieving denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” Xi said.

“We maintained that we should address the Korean Peninsula through dialogue and negotiation,” Xi said. “Relevant parties should have active contacts and dialogues so as to create conditions for an early resumption of the six-party talks.”

Days before Obama and Xi met, North Korea released two American citizens, but Obama told reporters in Beijing this week that the release is no solution to the “core problem” of the North’s nuclear program.

The U.S. and China, North Korea’s last-remaining patron, have remained far apart over how to resume the long-stalled multilateral talks aimed at persuading North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons program.

South Korea and the U.S. have called on China to play a greater role in leading North Korea to demonstrate its commitment to denuclearize before any resumption of the nuclear talks with the North can take place, but China’s efforts have still been seen as more accommodating toward North Korea.

During the news conference at the Great Hall of the People in central Beijing, Obama and Xi said they have agreed to develop two major confidence-building measures for the military and to promote communication on combating against terrorism.

The summit comes amid growing friction between the U.S. and China at a time when Washington is renewing its commitment to its much-touted “pivot” to Asia, while Beijing is seeking to bolster its economic and military clout in the region.

The U.S. and China have been also at odds over a series of thorny issues, such as the pro-democracy movements in Hong Kong, territorial disputes surrounding the South and East China Seas and allegations of Chinese hacking into American businesses.

On the surface at least, Obama and Xi appeared to highlight agreements from their two-day summit.

Besides the military confidence-building measures, Obama and Xi announced targets to cut greenhouse gas, in a historic accord by the world’s two biggest polluters.

Obama called the greenhouse-gas targets “a major milestone in the U.S. China relationship.

Still, Obama and Xi looked to show disagreements in some thorny issues, particularly for Hong Kong, human rights and freedom of expression.

“I believe that President Xi and I have a common understanding on how the relationship between our two countries should move forward,” Obama said. “Where we have disagreements, we will be candid about our intentions, and we will work to narrow those differences where possible.” (Yonhap)

Source : The Korea Herald