Chinese President Xi Jinping will make his first visit to Korea on Thursday, and in a break with tradition, he will visit South Korea instead of China’s old ally in the North.
…[While] China and North Korea drift apart, Beijing’s relationship with Seoul is blossoming, and Xi could be making a gesture to demonstrate the growing importance of those ties. Xi will spend two days in South Korea; the agenda will include talks about how to further expand already booming bilateral trade and the sensitive issue of North Korea’s nuclear program.
… Following Park and Xi’s summit in China last year, the two leaders issued a statement that included only a general mention of “denuclearization of the Korean peninsula,” instead of a pointed remark on North Korea ceding its nuclear ambitions.
… “In the statement from last year’s summit, Xi was unwilling to pinpoint North Korea, choosing instead to include them only by implication. This time Park will at least push to get a clear statement from Xi on North Korean denuclearization down in ink,” said Sung-yoon Lee, an assistant professor at the Fletcher School of international affairs at Tufts University.
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