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Hu hails friendly ties with DPRK

By Qin Jize and Wang Chenyan | China Daily | Updated: 2011-07-12 07:12

BEIJING - President Hu Jintao on Monday reaffirmed China's determination to strengthen friendly and cooperative relations with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) as the two countries celebrate the 50th anniversary of the signing of the China-DPRK Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance.

During a 40-minute meeting with Yang Hyong-sop, vice-president of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly of the DPRK, Hu said the two countries have respected and supported each other over the past 50 years and Beijing is ready to strengthen cooperation with Pyongyang.

Yang, who is on a four-day visit to China, said Sino-DPRK friendship was founded and cultivated by the elder generation of leaders from both countries, and that the DPRK is willing to work with China to push forward bilateral ties and make positive efforts to maintain regional peace and stability.

China and the DPRK are holding a series of events to mark the 50th anniversary of the signing of the treaty. Vice-Premier Zhang Dejiang began a four-day visit to the DPRK on Sunday.

Economic development and improving people's livelihood are two common challenges facing both China and the DPRK, Zhang said when meeting DPRK Premier Choe Yong-rim in Pyongyang on Sunday.

He added that China would like to expand trade with the DPRK and promote investment and cooperation.

Analysts said that the treaty is "still important" for the stability of the Korean Peninsula, though the world has changed dramatically over the past five decades.

Article two of the treaty has attracted concern as it says that "in the event of one of the contracting parties being subjected to the armed attack by any state or several states jointly and thus being involved in a state of war, the other contracting party shall immediately render military and other assistance by all means at its disposal".

Huang Youfu, director of the Institute of Korean Studies at Minzu University of China, said that as the international situation has changed greatly since the treaty was signed 50 years ago, it is not necessary to overreact to its defense-related articles.

"But the treaty is still of practical and strategic significance," Huang emphasized.

"For example, the United States should not neglect the treaty when it decides strategies toward the DPRK. I think it helps to avoid wars breaking out in China's neighboring country."

China Daily

(China Daily 07/12/2011 page12)

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