BEIJING (AP) — In the highly formalized world of China-North Korea relations, Xi Jinping’s trip to Pyongyang carries enormous symbolic significance. Although less certain, it may also yield outcomes that could influence both countries’ relations with the U.S.
With tensions over trade, Taiwan and Hong Kong, Xi’s trip offers some welcome breathing space as the traditional allies work over irritants in relation to North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.
Kim has now made four visits to China since March 2018, each time showing the proper deference to his country’s most important ally and provider of aid. The timing of Xi’s first visit as president ahead of the G-20 summit in Japan later this week seems to signal an intention that China remains a key player in peninsular affairs.