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The Chinese regime announced it would welcome a visit from new North Korean leader Kim Jong-un—one of several official gestures showing the regime is keen to support North Korea through a leadership transition. But the change to the status quo in the reclusive state has the potential to bring instability in the future. Analysts say the Chinese regime will be watching nervously.
The Chinese regime announced on Tuesday it would welcome the new North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, to visit China. The news followed a visit by Chinese leader Hu Jintao to the North Korean Embassy in Beijing to express condolences for the death the Kim Jong-il.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said at a press conference the relationship between the two countries is sound.
[Liu Weimin, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman]:
"China and North Korea have always kept up high-level visits, and we welcome the North Korean leader to visit at a convenient time to both sides."
Neither the Foreign Ministry spokesperson or state media would elaborate on what Hu Jintao said or did during his visit to the embassy.
Welcoming a visit from Kim Jong-un shows the Chinese regime regards maintaining good relations with North Korea as a high priority.
The leadership transition could be shaky, with a young and inexperienced leader expected to manage a country of powerful military generals and one million troops.
The border between China and North Korea was quiet on Tuesday and there were concerns it had been sealed off to stop migration into China.
But Stuart Witchell, senior managing director at FTI Consulting, said that was unlikely in the short term.