President Xi Jinping, his wife, Peng Liyuan, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s top leader Kim Jong-un and wife, Ri Sol-ju, pose for a photo before the leaders’ talks in Pyongyang on Thursday. (JU PENG / XINHUA)
PYONGYANG — The top leaders of China and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) agreed in Pyongyang on Thursday to work together to create a bright future of inter-party and inter-state relations at a new starting point in history.
The agreement was reached in talks between General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and Chinese President Xi Jinping and Kim Jong-un, chairman of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) and chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the DPRK.
The China-DPRK friendship is a strategic choice made by the two sides with a long-term and overall perspective and will not waver due to changes in the international situation, Xi said
The China-DPRK friendship is a strategic choice made by the two sides with a long-term and overall perspective and will not waver due to changes in the international situation, Xi said, adding that the friendship accords with the aspirations of both peoples, the fundamental interests of both countries and the development trend of the times.
Noting that China-DPRK ties have now entered a new historical period, Xi said that the CPC and the Chinese government attach great importance to the friendly and cooperative relations between the two countries, and that it is a steadfast policy of the CPC and the Chinese government to maintain, consolidate and develop China-DPRK relations.
In face of the profound and complex changes on the global and regional landscapes, China and the DPRK should strengthen high-level contact to guide the development of China-DPRK relations, Xi said, adding that he is ready to maintain close exchanges with Kim to consolidate mutual political trust and hold firmly the general direction of bilateral relations.
The two sides, Xi said, should deepen strategic communication and exchange views on major issues in an in-depth and timely manner, so as to create a favorable environment for the development of both countries.
He also suggested that the two sides expand practical cooperation to bring more benefits to both peoples.
China is ready to work with the DPRK to deepen inter-party exchanges on governance experience, and boost cadre training and personnel exchanges in economic and well-being areas, he said.
People welcome General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the square of the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun in Pyongyang, capital of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), June 20, 2019. (SHEN HONG / XINHUA)
The Chinese leader also urged the two sides to deepen friendly exchanges to lay a solid foundation for further consolidating and developing the China-DPRK friendship.
For his part, Kim expressed a hearty welcome to Xi's visit on behalf of the party, government and people of the DPRK, noting that more than 250,000 people flocked to the streets in Pyongyang to welcome Xi
China, he said, is ready to work with the DPRK to continue to implement the plan for commemorating the 70th anniversary of diplomatic ties, and conduct exchanges and cooperation in such fields as education, health, sports, media and youth as well as at local levels, so as to carry forward the traditional China-DPRK friendship and improve the well-being of both peoples.
For his part, Kim expressed a hearty welcome to Xi's visit on behalf of the party, government and people of the DPRK, noting that more than 250,000 people flocked to the streets in Pyongyang to welcome Xi.
The visit, which comes upon the 70th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties, represents a huge encouragement and political support for the party, government and people of the DPRK, and bears great significance in the history of DPRK-China relations, he added.
Under current circumstances, said the DPRK leader, Xi's visit helps review the past 70 years of DPRK-China relations, envisage the future of bilateral ties, and demonstrate to the world the unbreakable traditional friendship between the two countries.
Kim said that he fully agrees with the insightful analysis and future plan Xi made on bilateral relations, and that it is an unswerving policy of the DPRK's party and government to carry forward the DPRK-China friendship from generation to generation.
He added that he highly values the profound friendship he has formed with Xi, and attaches great importance to the important consensus he has reached with the Chinese leader.
He expressed his willingness to take Xi's visit as an opportunity to further strengthen strategic communication between the two sides, deepen friendly exchanges in various areas, and lift the DPRK-China relationship to a new height.
Xi's plane arrived at the Sunan International Airport around noon. Bathed in sunshine shortly after rain, the DPRK capital was brimming with a friendly atmosphere.
Under Chinese and DPRK national flags and large welcome banners, nearly 10,000 people lined up at the airport, waving flowers and chanting cheerful slogans to welcome the Chinese guests.
Amid thunderous cheers, Xi and his wife, Peng Liyuan, walked out of the cabin, and were greeted by Kim and his wife, Ri Sol-ju.
The DPRK side held a grand welcome ceremony at the airport, which featured a 21-gun salute, the playing of national anthems, a review of the honor guard and a march-past.
The DPRK side held a grand welcome ceremony at the airport, which featured a 21-gun salute, the playing of national anthems, a review of the honor guard and a march-past
Following the ceremony, Xi departed from the airport with his motorcade being escorted by 21 motorcycles. Hundreds of thousands of people lined up along the way, waving flags and flowers and chanting "Long Live the China-DPRK Friendship" and other slogans to show their welcome.
After arriving at the Ryomyong Street in downtown Pyongyang, Xi changed to an open-top vehicle and rode with Kim to the square of the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun.
Throngs of people gathered on both sides of the street, cheering and saluting the guest of honor from China. The two leaders frequently waved to the welcoming crowds.
At the square, Xi and Peng, in the company of Kim and Ri, received the salute of WPK and government officials as well as representatives of Pyongyang citizens.
Xi was the first foreign leader to be honored with such a salute at the highly symbolic site, which fully demonstrated the hospitality and respect of the host.
The DPRK visit, Xi's first as CPC chief and Chinese head of state and also the first of its kind in 14 years, came as the two neighboring countries are celebrating the 70th anniversary of their diplomatic ties.
In a signed article published Wednesday in the DPRK's mainstream media, Xi said he stands ready to work with Kim to chart the future course of China-DPRK relations and open a new chapter for the two countries' traditional friendship.
HONG KONG NEWS