A signed article carried in Hong Kong-based Wen Wai Pao on September 4 points out that Jiang Zemin's visit to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) is both an inheritance and development of the traditional friendship and a push to the relations of cooperation between the two sides in the 21st century.
This represents a major Chinese diplomatic action at the beginning of the new century. This trip by Jiang Zemin will exert great, far-reaching positive influence on the strategic security pattern of Northeast Asia.
The article points out Jiang Zemin, general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and Chinese president, set off yesterday on an official friendship visit to Korea, the Korean people from all walks of life held a grandest ceremony in history to welcome the distinguished Chinese guest.
President Jiang's Korea visit has long been under planning, but under the current regional and peninsular situation, his trip still arouses the widespread attention of international public opinion, various quarters cherish many expectations of this, trying to get to know its strategic connotations.
The article says that since last year, great changes have taken place in the situation in the Korean Peninsula, the DPRK-ROK summit has been the focus of world attention, historic breakthroughs have been made in North-South conciliation, which have been highly praised by the international community.
Around the time of this period, Korea's diplomacy was very active, it either established or restored diplomatic relations with many countries, particularly EU nations, Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Korea, so did the US Secretary of State.
However, the US Bush administration's adjustment of its policy toward Korea as well as the emergence of various complicated factors regarding the peninsular issue have created some difficulties in North-South conciliation process.
The United States worried that the fast progress in the peninsular conciliation would upset its military security strategy, so its attitude toward Korea tended to become stiff, recently the United States demanded a reduction in Korea's conventional armament, which was flatly rejected by Korea.
The United States has drawn Japan together to jointly urge the ROK to take a prudent attitude toward Korea's change. It is against this background that Korea has tried hard, through active diplomatic operations, to impel the opposite side to make self-examination.
Not long ago, Kim Jong Il visited Russia via Siberia, during which he had a friendly, in-depth meeting with Putin and reached many agreements, thus heating up Korean-Russian relations.
Korea's invitation to Jiang Zemin to pay an official visit and granting him the warmest friendly reception is based on strategic consideration. On the eve of President Jiang Zemin's visit, DPRK made a friendly gesture to the ROK, suggesting that negotiation be resumed as soon as possible, which received quick and affirmative response from the ROK, this can be seen as an initial result gained for this strategy.
The article notes that for many years China has continued its huge amounts of aid to Korea, it has offered timely help to Korea when the latter was in economic difficulties by providing it with large amounts of materials such as grain, coke, crude oil and chemical fertilizer.
China has always devoted its efforts to the peninsula's peace and stability and firmly supported Korea's efforts in safeguarding State sovereignty and security. China is a signatory party to the truce agreement of the Korean Peninsula and a member of the "quadripartite negotiation" and bears responsibility for the final solution to the peninsular issue.
Among all big countries, China maintains very close relations with both the north and south sides of the Peninsula, thus having a unique position.
China extends clear-cut supports to the efforts of both North and South Korea to improve their relations and realize independent and peaceful reunification and welcomes Korea's endeavor to improve and normalize its relations with some countries, this stand fully demonstrates the breadth of mind and feeling of China as a big country, it conforms to the historical trend, gives consideration to the national feeling of the peninsular people and has thus received the universal respect from various parties.
(People's Daily 09/04/2001)