What China gained from the US-North Korea Summit

Chinese president Xi Jinping played a crucial role in the US-North Korea Summit by repeatedly urging both presidents to toss their differences for global peace and emphasizing on the need for trust among Asian leaders, including Kim Jong Un, who represents an important ally and economic partner.

Image: Xi Jinping and Kim Jong Un (Source: KCNA)

Kim eventually arrived Singapore on a Chinese plane for the summit which favoured Beijing and Pyongyang with a concession that marked an end to the US-South Korea military exercises in exchange for a denuclearized DPRK.

Xi met with a group of North Korean delegates after Trump initially cancelled the scheduled summit in Singapore. The Chinese president called on his American counterpart to reconsider his decisions to withdraw from the historic meeting and expressed commitment to aid Kim’s avowed new emphasis on economic development as well as improve relations with South Korea.

“We support the improvement of North-South [Korean] relations, the promotion of dialogue between North Korea and the US, denuclearization on the peninsula and North Korea’s development of its economy,” China’s state broadcaster quoted the president as saying.

Trump’s promise of withdrawing American troops from the Korean Peninsula is a win-win for China, considering that Xi’s government see the web of US alliances spread across South Korea and Japan as a threat to its regional dominance.

“It’s a huge win for China,” CNN quoted Bonnie Glaser, director of the China Power Project at Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) as saying.

There are around 28,000 American troops in South Korea and 49,000 in Japan, currently.

The removal of US military in the region has been a top priority in China’s policy for years.