September 30, 2010 09:40
Chinese President Hu Jintao has sent a congratulatory message to North Korean leader Kim Jong-il on his reelection as the Workers Party's general secretary at a party congress held Tuesday, China's official Xinhua news agency reported Wednesday.
Hu in the message said, "On behalf of the Communist Party of China's Central Committee and in my own name, I hereby extend my warm congratulation on the successful holding of the conference of the Workers Party of North Korea, on your reelection as general secretary of the [party], and on the reelection and formation of a new highest leading body."
Beijing and Pyongyang enjoy "a profound traditional friendship, close geographic relations and extensive common interests," Hu said. "Despite the ups and downs in the international situation, we will always handle, maintain and boost relations from a strategic and long-term perspective."
He praised the North Korean people's "achievements" in building North Korea "into a strong and prosperous nation, in developing the national economy, in improving the people's livelihood."
He pledged to make promote bilateral relations "to a higher level, in order to better benefit the two peoples and make greater contributions to realizing lasting peace and common prosperity in the region." Hu also expressed hope for "new and greater achievement in building a strong and prosperous country" as the North has claimed it will.
But he made no mention of the election of Kim Jong-il's son Jong-un to vice chairman of the party's Central Military Commission, which officially establishes him as his father's successor. In a meeting with Kim senior in August, Hu also did not directly mention the succession but only wished Kim "success at the party congress."
A diplomatic source in Beijing said, "The North may want Hu to publically show his support for Kim Jong-un. But that won't be easy for China since Kim junior hasn't yet cemented his status as the heir and the mere mention of this dynastic succession in the North could damage China's image."
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