September 08, 2010 12:22
The Chinese government says North Korea's leadership succession is an "internal matter." When asked by a Japanese reporter how China views the planned handover of power in North Korea from Kim Jong-il to his third son Jong-un and whether it has moved away from its traditional disapproval of hereditary succession in socialist countries, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Jiang Yu told reporters, "This is entirely an internal matter for North Korea." That is what Beijing usually says when dealing with sensitive international issues.
Jiang did not answer the second part of the reporter's question.
When another foreign reporter asked whether North Korea had explained to China the schedule and agenda of the upcoming extraordinary congress of the Workers Party, Jiang said, "The uniform stance of the Chinese government is not to interfere in the internal affairs of another country." The congress, the first of its kind since 1966, is expected to formally anoint Kim Jong-un as his father's successor.
China's Foreign Ministry summarized the press briefing on its website at 6 p.m. on Tuesday but omitted the two questions and answers, demonstrating how sensitive the issue is for China.
So far China has offered no comment at all. A diplomatic source in Beijing said, "China can't and won't interfere in North Korea's transfer of power. It has probably already told South Korea so."
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