North Korea Leadership Watch

Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership

50th Anniversary of China-DPRK Agreement of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance

Chinese President Hu Jintao (R) meets with Yang Hyong Sop, vice president of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, July 11, 2011. (Xinhua/Rao Aimin)

SPA Presidium Vice President Yang Hyong Sop met with PRC President Hu Jintao on Monday (11 July) in Beijing, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the countries’ Treaty on Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance.  Hu reiterated China’s intention to “deepen its traditional friendship.”  Xinhua English reports:

The delegations will further deepen China-DPRK relations and boost mutually beneficial cooperation, Hu said.

Hu made the remarks during a meeting with Yang Hyong Sop, vice president of the Presidium of the DPRK’s Supreme People’s Assembly and leader of the delegation, at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People on Monday afternoon.

Yang is in Beijing for a four-day visit as China and DPRK hold a series of events to mark the anniversary of the signing of the treaty. Vice Premier Zhang Dejiang is currently visiting the DPRK and will return on Wednesday.

During his meeting with Yang, President Hu said that over the past 50 years, China and the DPRK have continuously advanced bilateral relations by respecting and supporting each other under the guidance of the treaty.

“We are ready to work with the DPRK to carry forward traditions, embrace the future, maintain a neighborly friendship and strengthen cooperation,” Hu said.

He expressed the country’s readiness to work with the DPRK to increase high-level contacts, deepen strategic communication, expand mutually beneficial cooperation and conduct exchanges between the governing parties of both nations.

Hu said China is ready to boost the development of China-DPRK relations in a sustained and extensive way.

Yang congratulated the Communist Party of China (CPC) on the celebration of its 90th founding anniversary this year. He said that DPRK-China relations have been developed and fostered by previous generations of leaders and are a source of “precious wealth” to be shared by both sides.

Yang said DPRK-China relations have entered a new stage of development, thanks to the care and attention of top leaders from both nations. The two sides have continued to deepen exchanges and cooperation in various areas, he said.

He said the DPRK places great importance on its relations with China, and is ready to work with China to continue to reinforce and expand bilateral relations and to collaborate with China to maintain peace and stability in the region.

PRC and DPRK leadership exchanged letters on the occasion.  Kyodo News (via Mainichi Shimbun) reports:

North Korea sent the message under the name of leader Kim Jong Il, Kim Yong Nam, chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly and Prime Minister Cui Yong Lin, North Korea’s official Korea Central News Agency said.

The agency said North Korea received a congratulatory message from their Chinese counterparts, President Hu Jintao, Wu Bangguo, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, and Premier Wen Jiabao.

The relations between the two countries “have stood all tests of history” and made “a great contribution” to ensuring peace in Northeast Asia and other parts of the world, the North Korean leaders said in the message, as quoted by KCNA.

KCNA said the Chinese leaders vowed to “steadily consolidate and develop” friendly and cooperative relations between the two countries.

Concluded on July 11, 1961, the China-Korea Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance was extended twice, in 1981 and 2001. The current treaty runs through 2021.

Chinese President Hu Jintao (R, front) meets with Yang Hyong Sop (L, front), vice president of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, July 11, 2011. (Xinhua/Rao Aimin)

China Daily carried an editorial about the 50th anniversary of the treaty which said, in part:

It is important to note that over the last 50 years, leaders from both countries have taken pains to develop and maintain relations, faithfully adhering to the spirit and basic principles of the treaty.

Sino-DPRK relations have been marked by frequent high-level exchanges, growing economic and trade cooperation, and active cultural exchanges and interaction between the peoples.

In recent years, Chinese President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao have both paid formal visits to Pyongyang and since May last year, DPRK leader Kim Jong-il has visited China three times.

In line with the guiding principles of the treaty, Beijing leaders have addressed Sino-DPRK relations from a strategic, long-term perspective, carrying forward the approach of good neighborliness and strengthening cooperation, further consolidating and developing the tradition of Sino-DPRK friendship.

It is China’s unswerving policy to work with the DPRK to maintain and promote regional peace, stability and prosperity.

Noting China’s economic, social, technological and cultural progress during his latest visit, Kim commended the country’s reform and opening-up policy and its path of scientific development.

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.

He affirmed that, in regard to easing tension on the Korean Peninsula, the DPRK has set the objectives of denuclearization, an early resumption of the Six-Party Talks and improving inter-Korean relations.

China and the DPRK broke new ground last month by agreeing to jointly develop an economic zone on a border island. Investment from China is expected to stimulate economic growth on both sides.

As long as both countries propagate the spirit of friendship and cooperation, the cornerstone of the treaty, China and the DPRK will be sure to further consolidate this mutually beneficial relationship in the years to come.

According to KCNA, Hu Jintao’s message read, in part:

It is the firm strategic policy of the Chinese party and government to steadily consolidate and develop the Sino-DPRK friendly and cooperative relations.

We together with the DPRK side will inherit the tradition and carve out it in a forward-looking manner, advance with the era and steadily deepen the bilateral friendly exchange and cooperation in different fields and thus ceaselessly develop the Sino-DPRK relations.

We are pleased to see a lot of successes made by the Korean people in various fields for building a thriving country under the leadership of the WPK headed by Kim Jong Il.

We wholeheartedly wish the DPRK prosperity and its people happiness.

The treaty is an important document in the Sino-DPRK relations.

Over the past five decades, both sides have supported each other and closely cooperated with each other on the principle and spirit of the treaty, promoting the cause of socialist construction in the two countries and defending peace and stability in the area.

The Sino-DPRK friendship is the one which was provided by the leaders of the elder generation of the two countries and cultivated with sincerity by them and which stood the tests of history and is deeply rooted in the minds of the two peoples.

Kim Jong Il’s message, according to KCNA, read in part:

We extend warm congratulations to you and, through you, to the CPC Central Committee and the government and the people of China in the name of the WPK and the government and the people of the DPRK on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the DPRK-China treaty of friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance.

The conclusion of the treaty marked an epoch-making event which provided a legal foundation for boosting on a permanent basis the DPRK-China friendly and cooperative relations sealed on the road of bloody struggle for independence against imperialism and for socialism.

Since the conclusion of the treaty, the two parties and governments have supported each other and closely cooperated with each other in various fields including politics, military, economy and culture and powerfully demonstrated before the whole world the invincible vitality of the everlasting DPRK-China friendship no matter how much water flowed under the bridge and how frequently a generation is replaced by another.

The traditional relations of the DPRK-China friendship, which stood all tests of history and made steady advance, have been successfully carried forward and developed on a new strategic height and made a great contribution to encouraging the two peoples in the common cause of socialism and ensuring peace and stability in Northeast Asia and other parts of the world.

It is the steadfast stand of the party and the government of the DPRK to steadily consolidate the DPRK-China friendly and cooperative relations, the precious legacy and common treasure handed down by the leaders of the elder generations of the two countries generation after generation.

We are convinced that the bonds of militant solidarity, friendship and cooperation between the two parties, the two countries and the two peoples will grow stronger in all fields at a higher stage thanks to their concerted efforts this significant year, the 50th anniversary of the DPRK-China treaty of friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance.

We, availing ourselves of this opportunity, wish the fraternal Chinese people greater successes in building a harmonious socialist society based on the scientific outlook on development under the leadership of the CPC with a glorious nine decade-long history and the People’s Republic of China, a friendly neighbor, prosperity and your people happiness.

Chinese Ambassador to the DPRK, Liu Hongcai (2nd L), delivers a speech at a reception hosted by the Chinese Embassy in the DPRK on 10 July in Pyongyang (Photo: PRC Embassy in the DPRK)

Meanwhile, back in the revolutionary nerve center, Chinese Ambassador to the DPRK, Liu Hongcai hosted a reception at Yanggado Hotel on Sunday (10 July).  At the reception speeches were given by Ambassador Liu and from the DPRK, defense minister and NDC Vice Chairman VMar Kim Yong Chun (Kim Yo’ng-ch’un).  KCNA reports:

Liu Hongcai said that General Secretary Kim Jong Il visited China several times, meeting with leading officials of the Chinese party and state including General Secretary Hu Jintao and reaching common understanding.

Both sides are significantly marking the golden jubilee of the treaty by jointly holding splendid events, he said. This is demonstrating at home and abroad the solidity and invincibility of the traditional Sino-DPRK friendship and promoting a new development of the bilateral friendly and cooperative relations, he added.

He wholeheartedly wished the Korean people greater success in socialist construction under the leadership of the WPK headed by Kim Jong Il.

The Chinese side will join the DPRK side to inherit the tradition and hew out the future and thus strive to bring about richer fruition of the Sino-DPRK friendly relations, he stressed.

Kim Yong Chun recalled in his speech that President Kim Il Sung signed the DPRK-China treaty of friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance together with Primer Zhou Enlai, providing a solid legal foundation for steadily boosting the DPRK-China friendship on the road of accomplishing the anti-imperialist and socialist cause.

It is the unanimous will and determination of the two parties and governments to steadily consolidate the DPRK-China friendship, the precious legacy and common treasure handed down by the revolutionaries of the elder generations of the two countries.

He wished the fraternal Chinese people greater successes in successfully carrying out the tasks of the first year of the 12th Five-Year Plan under the leadership of the Communist Party of China with Hu Jintao as its general secretary and building a comprehensively well-off society.

Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Dejiang (2nd R) meets with Choe Yong Rim (2nd L), premier of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), in Pyongyang, on July 10, 2011.(Xinhua/Zhang Li)

The Yanggado was also the venue for DPRK Premier Choe Yong Rim (Choe Yo’ng-rim) to meet with Vice Premier Zhang Dejiang, who began a four-day visit to the DPRK on Sunday.  Xinhua reports:

Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Dejiang made the remarks while meeting the DPRK’s Premier Choe Yong Rim at Yanggakdo International Hotel of Pyongyang.

Zhang is heading a Chinese official delegation to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the China-DPRK treaty of friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance.

Over the recent years, the two sides have witnessed frequent high level exchanges and vigorous cooperation in various sectors. The two nations have also maintained close coordination in international and regional affairs, Zhang said.

He said it has been the steadfast policy of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the Chinese government to develop the traditional friendship and implement major consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries.

Economic development and improving people’s livelihood are two common challenges facing both China and the DPRK, said Zhang, adding that China would like to join the DPRK to maintain a steady trade expansion and to promote investment and cooperation.

Choe Yong Rim appreciated China’s assistance for supporting social and economic development in the DPRK and said both sides should continue boosting cooperation in all fields.

Zhang arrived here earlier in the day. He also visited the Kumsusan Memorial Palace and paid tribute to the late DPRK President Kim Il Sung.

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