Author: Not available
China National News – Sunday 14th May, 2017
U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping might have started a whole new chapter in friendly ties between the two nations that lead the world’s economy – however, when it comes to China’s most important diplomatic event of the year – warnings and threats don’t matter.
Following news on North Korea’s attendance at China’s Silk Road forum, an initiative championed by President Xi Jinping – the United States reportedly warned China that Pyongyang’s attendance could affect other countries’ participation.
Further, sources revealed that the U.S. embassy in Beijing even submitted a diplomatic note to China’s foreign ministry, saying inviting North Korea sent the wrong message at a time when the world was trying to pressure it over its repeated missile and nuclear tests.
However, now breaking its silence, China has said that it welcomes all countries to its forum on its new Silk Road plan.
Commenting on the America’s disagreement over North Korea’s presence, that has cast a shadow over the big event for China – the country’s foreign ministry said on Saturday that it did «not understand the situation.”
It said, “The Belt and Road initiative is an open and inclusive one. We welcome all countries delegations to attend the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation.”
On Tuesday, the ministry had stated that North Korea would send a delegation to the summit.
Meanwhile, the United States is sending a delegation led by White House adviser Matt Pottinger.
China, despite protesting against North Korea’s repeated nuclear and missile tests, continues to remain the reclusive nation’s most important economic and diplomatic backer.
China has even signed up for tough UN sanctions against Pyongyang, while imposing a set of sanctions against the Kim Jong Un-led regime already.
While North Korea’s chief delegate hasn’t been announced so far – according to South Korea’s Yonhap news agency, North Korea’s minister of external economic relations, Kim Yong Jae, would lead the delegation.
The forum, scheduled to be held in Beijing on Sunday and Monday, would witness the presence of leaders from 29 countries.
The event is aimed at promoting Jinping’s vision of expanding links between Asia, Africa and Europe underpinned by billions of dollars in infrastructure investment.