Top leaders of China and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) pledged to seek stronger bilateral ties and pass on their traditional friendship to the next generation when Kim Jong Il visited China for the third time in the past year.
Chinese President Hu Jintao (R) shakes hands with Kim Jong Il, general secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) and chairman of the National Defense Commission of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), during their talks in Beijing, capital of China, May 25, 2011. [Li Xueren/Xinhua]
Kim paid an unofficial visit to China from May 20 to 26 at the invitation of Hu Jintao, general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and China's president.
The visit, Kim's third since May 2010 and the seventh since the dawn of the 21st century, brought him to the provinces of Heilongjiang, Jilin and Jiangsu before his talks with Hu in Beijing.
Passing on a close friendship
In their talks, Hu extended a warm welcome to Kim on behalf of the CPC, the Chinese government and the Chinese people, saying that the visit fully reflects the great attention Kim and the WPK Central Committee has paid to consolidating and developing the China-DPRK relationship and will definitely boost bilateral relations to a higher level.
In regard to DPRK-China ties, Kim has repeatedly stressed that the younger generation should continue the DPRK-China friendship, Hu said.
Hu stressed that the CPC and the Chinese government have always dealt with China-DPRK ties from a strategic and long-term perspective.
The Chinese side has firmly adhered to the spirit of carrying forward traditions, embracing the future, maintaining a neighborly friendship and strengthening cooperation with the DPRK, and has unswervingly observed the principle of consolidating and developing China-DPRK relations, Hu said.
Hu said China will work with the DPRK to boost the continuous growth of their bilateral cooperative relationship and promote regional peace, stability and prosperity. Hu made five proposals concerning bilateral ties during their talks:
-- Step up high-level visits and deepen the China-DPRK friendship. Hu said that he welcomes DPRK leaders to visit China.
-- Make more efforts to share experience in party-building and state governance and promote economic and social development.
-- Improve mutually beneficial cooperation to benefit people of both countries.
-- Deepen exchanges in culture, education and sports, particularly exchanges between young people, in order to pass on the China-DPRK friendship from generation to generation.
-- Increase communication and maintain coordination on international and regional situations as well as crucial issues, and jointly safeguard regional peace and stability.
Kim hailed the friendship between the two countries, saying that it is a historic mission for both countries to pass on their friendship from generation to generation.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the signing of the DPRK-China Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance. The treaty is significant, as it is an important piece of heritage from the elder generation of leaders from both nations, Kim said.
Kim invited Hu to visit the DPRK, which Hu accepted with pleasure.
Resumption of nuclear talks
Kim said the DPRK is now concentrating its attention and resources on economic development, and it is in great need of a stable neighboring environment.
Kim said the DPRK hopes to ease tensions on the Korean Peninsula. He added that the DPRK will stick to its objective of denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula and believes that the six-party talks should be resumed at an early date.
Kim said the DPRK, as always, sincerely hopes that relations between the DPRK and the Republic of Korea (ROK) can be improved.
Launched in 2003, the six-party talks previously included China, the DPRK, the United States, the ROK, Japan and Russia. The talks have been suspended since December 2008.
Hu said China spoke positively of the DPRK's efforts to ease tensions on the Korean Peninsula and improve its external environment.
China maintains that related parties should continuously uphold the banner of safeguarding peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and denuclearization. Hu said that related parties should remain calm and restrained, show flexibility, remove obstacles, improve relations and make positive efforts to establish peace, stability and development on the peninsula.
Focus on people's lives
Commenting on the DPRK's efforts to accelerate economic development and improve people's lives, Hu said China is glad to see that the DPRK gives top priority to improving the livelihood of its people.
Hu said he is convinced that with Kim's leadership, the WPK and the DPRK people can achieve all of the goals they have set for themselves.
Kim said the Chinese people are now engaged in economic and social development and he marveled at the amazing changes he saw during his visit.
Kim said he believes that with the leadership of the CPC, the Chinese people will achieve their goal of building a moderately prosperous society.
Kim also extended his congratulations to the CPC on its upcoming 90th birthday, which falls on July 1. The CPC's glorious history shows that the "new China" would not have been possible without the CPC, Kim said.
Improve win-win cooperation
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao vowed to improve win-win cooperation with the DPRK in his meeting with Kim in Beijing.
China is ready to make joint efforts with the DPRK to give full play to various bilateral working mechanisms, further encourage initiatives by localities and enterprises and enhance planning and coordination in an effort to boost win-win cooperation to a higher level, Wen said.
Kim hailed the tremendous achievements of bilateral trade cooperation in recent years, adding that the two sides have taken a significant step forward in building a new cross-border bridge over the Yalu River.
Wen told Kim it is a steadfast principle of the CPC and the Chinese government to consolidate and develop the China-DPRK friendship, and that the development of this friendship is in the fundamental interests of both nations and their citizens.
As this year marks the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance between the DPRK and China, Kim called on both countries to take this opportunity to further expand bilateral cooperation in various areas and usher in a new era of flourishing trade cooperation.
Tours to factories, farms, stores and households
Kim visited the municipality of Beijing and the provinces of Heilongjiang, Jilin and Jiangsu during his week-long China tour.
He paid visits to projects related to industrial production, agriculture, technological development and trade. Kim also spoke with the families of farmers, visited assembly lines for sedans and heavy-duty trucks, dropped by IT and electronics companies and paid a visit to China's Smart Grid Demonstration Center.
Kim was also briefed about China's research and development of high-tech products.
He said he has witnessed China's progress in the fields of economic development, social construction, technology and culture.
Kim said the CPC's reform and opening-up policy has been proven correct, and that its path of scientific development is full of vigor. The DPRK people have been encouraged by China's achievements and hope that the Chinese people will make greater progress in the implementation of the 12th Five-year Plan (2011-2015) for National Economic and Social Development, Kim said.