Comparative Connections v.11 n.4 - China-Korea Relations

  • Embracing the ROK Economically and the DPRK Politically
    Jan 13, 2010

    The last quarter of 2009 raised hopes for developments in China’s relations with both Koreas. Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping received head-of-state treatment during his visit to South Korea where he presented proposals to further the China-ROK strategic cooperative partnership, including pressing for a free trade agreement. President Lee Myung-bak and Premier Wen Jiabao held bilateral talks in Beijing on the sidelines of the China-ROK-Japan trilateral summit, which Lee used to promote his "grand bargain" on North Korean denuclearization. There were also several exchanges between China and the DPRK. Premier Wen led a large delegation to Pyongyang where he was warmly hosted by Kim Jong-il and proposed a comprehensive set of deals with North Korea, Following Wen’s visit, Kim Yang-gon, Pyongyang’s official in charge of inter-Korean relations, visited China. President Hu Jintao reportedly extended a formal invitation to Kim Jong-il to visit China "at a convenient time" at his meeting with Choe Thae-bok, secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea Central Committee and one of Kim’s closest aides.