China Rolls out Red Carpet for South Korean President
furtive, hastily arranged” meeting took place between Chinese officials and two North Koreans, a senior officer and a diplomat. The Norks, Jane Perlez reports for the New York Times, were “scolded by their Chinese hosts.”President Park, by contrast, arrived with no fewer than 71 South Korean business executives. Park speaks fluent Mandarin Chinese and said she is “filled with special emotion” on this trip. Xi Jinping calls Park “an old friend.” Her book, Steeled by Despair, Motivated by Hope, tops the list of biographies of political figures for sale on the Chinese Amazon.Via Meadia has speculated that China might be moving to warm relations with South Korea at the North’s cost. This could help cool off the confrontation on the peninsula while, China hopes, pulling South Korea away from its current pro-US, pro-Japan orientation and closer to Beijing. This is one of China’s best opportunities to improve its regional diplomatic position, as South Korea is uncomfortable with the nationalist rhetoric emanating from Japan these days.In the long run, some Chinese officials hope to play a guiding role in reconciling and, perhaps, reuniting North and South Korea.