President Xi Jinping is scheduled to visit North Korea Thursday this week to discuss the long-term conflicts in the Korean Peninsula with Kim Jong-un.
North Korea is strategically situated within the Korean Peninsula and its ongoing program on nuclear power development and tests of ballistic missiles pose threats on neighboring nations, including allies of China and the US.
It is going to be the first time that a Chinese leader would visit North Korea in more than two decades - fourteen years to be exact. The visit will take place shortly before the G-20 summit in Japan wherein the Chinese president is expected to meet Donald Trump.
The relationship status of North Korea and China has not been explicitly presented in the media although it can be remembered that, in the past, China supported UN sanctions against North Korea for its irresponsible and provocative display of nuclear power capacity in the Korean Peninsula. Further, North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, has also expressed his defiance to calls of toning down with its nuclear activities and said that it would not be intimated by either China or the United States.
According to BBC News, this meeting between the two leaders is an effort to repair the quite tarnished relations between North Korea and China and is a focal point to a new chapter for both nations. Meanwhile, South Korea is hoping that this visit would lead to the resumption of dialogues on denuclearization.
This development may also usher North Korea to strengthen trade relations with China. Pyongyang is aware of the trade war between China and the US, and this meeting might just be the right timing that the Chinese government reaches out to Kim to expand the raft of its trading partners. Also, with the lukewarm attitude of North Korea towards the Americans, it is not far from reality that the controversial country would show more inclination to doing business with the Chinese.
China is one of North Korea's top export partners, and one of its main exports are armaments and military weapons. With the ongoing clash between the top superpowers, and as China continues to expand its military power, it is safe to assume the Chinese government would tap North Korea's help in terms of producing more powerful armaments to further build up its military strength.
After such a long time, it is interesting to learn that China is reaching out to North Korea and rebuild diplomatic relationship - so interesting that it happens just at the height of the US-China trade war. We will only know how this story unfolds in the next few days.