The top story on all central state media in China for most of today in English and Chinese: Xi Jinping and Kim Jong-un continued their bromance with a stroll on the beach, and tea in a garden, amid the “lush mountains, blue seas and drifting clouds” of the northeastern city of Dalian in May, when the weather is lovely.
- Xinhua’s report did indeed refer to the “lush mountains,” etc., but its opening was a little stiffer: “Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and Chinese president, met Kim Jong Un, chairman of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) and chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), in Dalian, northeast China’s Liaoning Province, on May 7-8.”
- Of note: Wang Huning 王沪宁 — whom some call the ideological mastermind behind Xi Jinping’s power — “attended related activities” in Dalian.
- “Comrade Chairman made a special trip to China to meet me again just after 40-odd days, Xi said, at a crucial time when the Korean Peninsula situation is undergoing profound and complex changes,” according to Xinhua. Xi was especially appreciative of this.
- The New York Times’ take (paywall): “The Chinese leader appeared intent on showing that the frayed relationship with North Korea was now repaired, and that China was as important to resolving the problems of North Korea’s nuclear weapons as the United States.”
A statement issued on behalf of both leaders after the meeting, says the New York Times, “envisioned a far more drawn-out process for the denuclearization of North Korea than the demands of the Trump administration, which has talked about dismantling the North’s arsenal in six months to a year” (emphasis added).
Draw your own conclusions.