North Korea and China Plan to Strengthen Alliance

North Korea and China Plan to Strengthen Alliance

( – North Korea and China have ties extending back to the 1930s when Kim Jong-un’s grandfather fought alongside Chinese troops as they battled Japanese colonizers. The two countries formalized relations in 1949 and fought together during the 1950-1953 Korean War against South Korea and the United States.

On Sunday, July 11, the two nations celebrated the 60th anniversary of the 1961 Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance. Section II of that agreement obligates both nations to defend each other militarily.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and Chinese President Xi Jinping sent out statements affirming their respective nations’ unwavering mutual support. They also expressed their interest in strengthening ties.

Kim Jong-un affirmed North Korea’s intentions to “ceaselessly develop the friendly and cooperative relations with China.” President Xi stated he wanted to see Chinese and North Korean relations “unceasingly rise to new levels” in the wake of the unprecedented changes experienced globally over “the past century.”

Stepping back and looking at the bigger picture, Foreign Affairs recently reported that China wants to maintain the current balance of power in the region. Therefore, it doesn’t see any benefit to a weaker North Korea. But, at the same time, it doesn’t want a more powerful North Korea to provoke the US into increasing its military presence in the Korean Peninsula.

According to a report from Axios, Kim said in a statement that he and President Xi were working against the “desperate maneuvers” of “hostile forces.” Should Americans be concerned that both of these countries seem to view the US as an enemy?

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