According to documents seen by The Japan Times, the son of Kim Jong Il, Kim Jong Un, is set to make a high-profile visit to China on March 14 (although it could be delayed until April 15).
During the trip, North Korea’s heir apparent will meet with the next generation of Chinese leadership, including Xi Jinping.
A collapse in North Korea could have clear destabilizing effects on China (with which it shares a border) and there’s some speculation that the two countries are moving closer back together to beat back the world’s democratic wave.
Lee of Kansai University said Kim Jong Un’s visit could also be viewed as China and North Korea’s attempt to rebuild their military and political alliance in the face of the democracy wave that has been sweeping the Middle East.
“Beijing is wary of its people staging their own ‘Jasmine Revolution,’ but considering the political instability created by Kim Jong Il’s deteriorating health and the economic crisis, North Korea is the most likely nation where a North Eastern Asian version of a Jasmine revolt could take place,” Lee said.
“And from that perspective, China is trying strengthen and support Pyongyang’s new leader. The North in turn wants to use China’s backing to legitimise Kim Jong Un’s succession, which has not been welcomed by its people.”
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