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Introduction

On October 6, 1949, China and the DPRK established diplomatic relations, so the DPRK  became one of the first groups of countries having diplomatic relations with new China. In June 1950, the Korean War broke out. When the Chinese people were confronted with the menace of the war after the US army crossed the 38th parallel and flames of the war spread to the bank of the Yalu River, the China-DPRK border, China sent its volunteer army at the request of the DPRK side to  join the war. After the armistice, China actively assisted the DPRK in its post-war economic restoration and reconstruction. In November, 1953, the two countries signed the agreement on economic and cultural cooperation. On July 11, 1961, they signed the Treaty on Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance between China and the DPRK .

I. Political Relations and Exchanges of High-level Visits

China and the DPRK have always maintained their traditional friendship and cooperation, and their party and state leaders frequently contact. The DPRK  leader Kim Il Sung visited China dozens of times while Chinese leaders Zhou Enlai, Liu Shaoqi and Deng Xiaoping also visited the DPRK  many times. Since 1990, General Secretary Jiang Zemin, Premier Li Peng, President Yang Shangkun, the Chinese Party and Government Delegation headed by Standing Committee Member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the CPC and Secretary of its Secretariat Hu Jintao and State Councilor and Defence Minister Chi Haotian, Chinese Goodwill Delegation led by State Councilor and Secretary-General of the State Council Luo Gan and Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan have visited the DPRK respectively. President Kim Il Sung, Premier Yon Hyung Muk, Vice-President Li Jong Ok, Political Bureau Member of the WPK Central Committee and Chief of General Staff Choe Gwang, Vice-Premiers Hong Song Nam, Kim Yoon Hyuk, President of the Presidium of the DPRK Supreme People's Assembly Kim Yong Nam, Vice-President Yang Hyung Sup,and Foreign Minister Paek Nam Sun have visited China. General Secretary Kim Jong Il paid two successive visits to China.

In June 1999, leading a DPRK national delegation, Kim Yong Nam, President of the Presidium of the DPRK Supreme People's Assembly, paid an official goodwill visit to China. In the same year, both sides jointly celebrated the 50th anniversary of the establishment of China-DPRK diplomatic relations, and at the invitation of DPRK Foreign Minister Paek Nam Sun, Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan paid a goodwill visit to the DPRK and attended the celebrations. On March 5, 2000, General Secretary of the WPK visited the Chinese embassy in the DPRK. From 29 to 31 May, at the invitation of General Secretary Jiang Zemin, General Secretary Kim Jong Il paid an unofficial visit to China. On October 9, at the invitation of the DPRK side, President Jiang Zemin attended the dinner party hosted by the DPRK embassy in China to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the WPK. On October 25, a mass meeting of 180,000 people was held in Pyongyang, auspiciously marking the 50th anniversary of the Chinese Volunteers joining the DPRK army in denfending the country, and those present were General Secretary Kim Jong Il and other major DPRK party, government and military leaders. Heading a high-ranking Chinese military delegation, Vice-Chairman of the central Military Commission, State Councilor and Defence Minister Chi Haotian paid an official goodwill visit to the DPRK and participated in the celebrations hosted by the DPRK side.

Between 15 and 20 January 2001, at the invitation of General Secretary Jiang Zemin, General Secretary Kim Jong Il paid another unofficial visit to China. General Secretary Jiang held talks with General Secretary Kim in Beijing, exchanged views on further development of the party and state relations between the two countries as well as major international issues of common concern and reached broad consensus. They agreed that both sides would work harder to further consolidate, develop and strengthen the Chian-DPRK traditional friendship and push their friendly relations to a new high. General Secretary Kim Jong Il invited General Secretary Jiang Zemin to the DPRK  at his convenience, and the latter accepted the invitation of the former with pleasure. Before their meeting, General Secretary Kim Jong Il and his entourage paid a 4-day visit to Shanghai. Premier Zhu Rongji met him and accompanied the DPRK guest to visit the exhibition hall where Shanghai municipal planning was on display. Party Secretary of Shanghai Municipal Committee Huang Ju accompanied him to visit Pudong Development Zone, Shanghai Stock Exchange, Zhangjiang High-Tech Science Park and Sunqiao Modern Farming Development Zone.

From 3 to 5 September 2001, at the invitation of General Secretary of the WPK and Chairman of the National Defence Commission Kim Jong Il, General Secretary of the CPC and President of China Jiang Zemin paid an official goodwill visit to the DPRK. It is both a visit in response to the two visits to China by General Secretary Kim Jong Il respectively in May 2000 and January 2001 and the first visit to DPRK in the past 11 years by the top Chinese leader. This visit indicates the restoration of exchanges of high-level visits and brings about the new phase of friendly relations and cooperation between the two countries. Attaching great importance to the visit, the DPRK side accorded to it auspicious, warm and friendly reception. During his visit, General Secretary Jiang Zemin held talks with General Secretary Kim Jong Il, and met President of the Presidium of the DPRK Supreme People's Assembly Kim Yong Nam and Premier of the Cabinet Hong Song Nam. During their talks and meetings, each side briefed the other side on its political and economic situation, exchanged views on further consolidation and development of friendly relations and cooperation between the two parties and two countries as well as major regional and international issues of mutual concern and reached broad consensus. Both sides agreed that in the spirit of "Carrying on the Traditions, Looking Forward to the Future, Developing Good Neighborliness and Friendship and Strengthen Cooperation" they should work together to push China-DPRK friendly relations and cooperation to a new high. The two leaders exchanged in-depth views on regional and international issues of mutual concern. General Secretary Jiang Zemin also invited General Secretary Kim Jong Il to visit China again, and the latter accepted the former's invitation with pleasure. Accompanied by General Secretary Kim Jong Il, General Secretary Jiang watched a gala performance and a large-scale group show. China provided the DPRK with 200,000 tons of grain and 30,000 tons of diesel as free aid to help the  DPRK  people tide over their difficulties. The DPRK side expressed their appreciation.

Between 9 and 13, September 2001, the Chinese Goodwill Delegation, headed by Member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee the CPC and  Vice-Chairman of the Standing Committee of the NPC Jiang Chunyun, visited the DPRK  and attended the 40th anniversary of signing of the Treaty on Friendship, Cooperation and mutual Assistance between China and the DPRK . General Secretary Kim Jong Il met the delegation.

Between 6 and 10 May 2002, leading the Chinese Communist Party Delegation, Member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the CPC and Party Secretary of the Beijing Municipal Committee Jia Qinglin visited the DPRK .  General Secretary Kim Jong Il met him and hosted two dinners in his honor. Kim spoke highly of the growing relations between the two parties and two countries, and hoped that the friendly relations and cooperation would be further strengthened and developed. Jia said that continuous promotion of China-DPRK neighborliness, friendship and cooperation would be in the interest of not only the people of the two countries, but peace and stability of this region and world at large. China would like to work together with the DPRK  to further expand their friendly relations and cooperation.

Between 15 and 19 October 2002, Vice-President of the Presidium of the DPRK Supreme People's Assembly Yang Hyung Sup paid an official goodwill visit to China as head of the DPRK national delegation. Chairman of the Standing Committee of the NPC Li Peng and Vice-President Hu Jintao met him respectively, and Vice-Chairman of the Standing Committee of the NPC Jiang Chunyun hosted a welcome dinner in his honor. Li Peng made it clear that China attached great importance to developing neighborliness and friendship with its neighbors and working hard for peace and stability in this region. He also said that China would go on supporting the DPRK and the ROK in improving their relations and realizing independent peaceful reunification of the Korean Peninsula. Hu Jintao emphasized that it was the set policy of both the Chinese Communist Party and Government to consolidate and develop China-DPRK traditional friendship and cooperation, and that China would work together with the DPRK to implement the important consensus reached by General Secretary Jiang and General Secretary Kim, to strengthen and deepen contacts and cooperation in various departments and fields between the two parties and two countries, and promote continuous development of China-DPRK friendship and cooperation. Yang Hyung Sup said that both the DPRK  Workers Party and Government attached great importance to DPRK-China friendship, and always took DPRK-China relations as the top priority for DPRK's diplomatic work. He also pointed out that the DPRK paid a great tribute to the internal and external policies pursued by the Chinese Communist Party and Government and supported the Chinese Government in achieving the reunification of its motherland in accordance with the policy "One Country, Two Systems".

II. Economic Relations

Over the years, China has always been the DPRK 's main trading partner. In 2002, China-DPRK trade volume reached US$ 0.739 billion, of which China's exports to the DPRK  amounted to US$ 0.468 billion and its imports from the DPRK US$ 0.271 billion by an increase of  0.2%, -18.4% and 62.4% from the previous year respectively. China's major products to the DPRK  are crude oil, machinery and electronic products as well as consumer goods and its main products imported from the DPRK  are steel, timber, mineral products and aquatic products.

Since 1994, in order to help the DPRK tide over its difficulties caused by natural disasters and other factors, China has been providing the DPRK with grain, coke, crude oil and fertilizer as free aid.

III. Bilateral Relations in other Areas

China and the DPRK have always maintained close contacts and cooperation in the military, cultural, educational, scientific, technological and sport fields. Both sides have signed many such treaties and agreements such as the treaty on friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance, trade and navigation agreement, air transport agreement and consular agreement. They sign exchange programmes annually in the fields of education, science, technology and sport. China has opened its consulate-general in Chongjin and the DPRK  has its consulates-general in Shenyang and Hong Kong Special Administrative Region respectively. Friendly municipal and provincial relations have been established between China's Liaoning, Heilongjiang, Jiangsu and Shanghai and the DPRK 's North Pyong'an Province, North Hamgyong Province, Kangwon Province and Hamheung Province.

IV. Important Bilateral Agreements

1. China-DPRK Agreement on Economic and Cultural Cooperation (signed on Nov. 23, 1953, and became effective on Dec. 9, 1953)

2. China-DPRK Treaty on Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance (signed on July 11, 1961, and became effective on Sept 10, 1986)

3. China-DPRK Consular Treaty (signed on Nov. 26, 1985, and became effective on July 3, 1986)

Timetable for Important Exchange of Visits between Chinese and the DPRK Leaders

1. Following are the DPRK leaders who have visited China

Name          Status           Nature of Visit         Duration of visit

Kim Il Sung Prime Minister Official Visit Nov. 10 to 27, 1953

Kim Il Sung Ditto Goodwill Visit Sept. 28 to Oct. 1954

Kim Il Sung Ditto Ditto Nov.21 to 28, 1958

Kim Il Sung Ditto Ditto Sept. 25 to Oct. 3, 1959

Kim Il Sung Ditto Ditto July 10 to 15, 1961

Choi Yong Kun President Official Visit Sept. 30 to Oct. 3, 1969

Heo Dam Foreign Minister official Visit Feb. 9 to 14, 1973

Kim Il Sung President of the DPRK Goodwill Visit Apr. 18 to 26, 1975

Li Jong Ok Premier Official Visit Jan. 10 to 14, 1981

Kim Il Sung President of the DPRK  State Visit Sept. 16 to 25, 1982

Kim Jong Il Secretary Unofficial Visit Jun 2 to 12, 1983

Kim Yong Nam Vice-Premier and foreign Minister

Official Visit Feb, 7 to 14, 1984

Kang Song San Premier Official Visit Aug, 5 to 10, 1984

Kim Il Sung President of the DPRK  Unofficial Visit Nov. 26 to 28, 1984

Kim Il Sung Ditto Official Goodwill Visit May 21 to 25, 1987

Li Kun Mo Premier Ditto Nov. 9 to 11, 1987

Kim Yong Nam Vice-Premier and Foreign Minister

Official Visit Nov, 3 to 7, 1988

Kim Il Sung General Secretary Unofficial Visit Nov, 5 to 7, 1989

Yon Hyung Muk Premier Official Visit Nov. 23 to 28, 1990

Kim Il Sung President of the DPRK  Official Goodwill Visit Oct. 4 to 13, 1991

Kim Yong Nam President Official Goodwill Visit June 3 to 7, 1999

Paek Nam Sun Foreign Minister Ditto Mar, 18 to 22, 2000

Kim Jong Il General Secretary Unofficial Visit May 29 to 31, 2000

Kim Jong Il Ditto Ditto Jan, 15 to 20, 2001

Kim Yoon Hyuk Secretary-General Goodwill Visit July 10 to 14, 2001

Yang Hyung Sup Vice-President Official Visit Oct, 15 to 19, 2002

2. Following are the Chinese leaders who have visited the DPRK 

Name   Status    Nature of Visit      Duration of Visit

Zhou Enlai Premier Goodwill Visit Feb, 14 to 21, 1958

Liu Shaoqi President Ditto Sept, 15 to 27, 1963

Zhou Enlai Premier Official Goodwill Visit Apr, 5 to 7, 1970

Ji Pengfei Foreign Minister Goodwill Visit Dec. 22 to 25, 1972

Hua Guofeng Party President and Premier

Official Goodwill Visit May 5 to 10, 1978

Deng Xiaoping Vice-Chairman of the Party and Vice-Premier

Goodwill visit Sept, 8 to 13, 1978

Zhao Ziyang Premier Official Visit Dec, 20 to 14, 1981

Hu Yaobang Party Chairman

Deng Xiaoping Vice-Chairman of the Party

Unofficial Visit Apr, 26 to 30, 1982

Wu Xueqian Foreign Minister Official Visit May 20 to 25, 1983

Hu Yaobang General Secretary Official Goodwill Visit May4 to 11, 1984

Hu Yaobang Ditto Unofficial Visit May 4 to 6, 1985

Li Xiannian President Goodwill Visit Oct,. 3 to 6, 1986

Yang Shangkun Ditto Ditto Sept, 7 to 11, 1988

Zhao Ziyang General Secretary

Official Goodwill Visit Apr. 24 to 29 1989

Jiang Zemin Ditto Ditto Mar, 14 to 16, 1990

Li Peng Premier Ditto May, 3 to 6, 1991

Qian Qichen State Councilor and Foreign Minister

Ditto June 17 to 20, 1991

Yang Shangkun President Ditto Apr, 12 to 17, 1992

Hu Jintao Member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee

Of CPC and Secretary of the Secretary Party Delegation

July 26 to 29, 1993

Luo Gan State Councilor and Secretary-General of the State Council

Party Delegation July 10 to 13, 1996

Tang Jiaxuan Foreign Minister Goodwill Visit Oct, 5 to 9, 1999

Chi Haotian Vice-Chairman of Central Military Commission,

State Councilor and Defence Minister

Military Delegation Oct, 22 to 26, 2000

Jiang Chunyun Vice-Chairman of the Standing Committee of the NPC

Goodwill Delegation July 9 to 13, 2001

Jiang Zemin General Secretary and President of China

Official Goodwill Visit Sept. 3 to 5, 2001

Ja Qinglin Member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the CPC

Secretary of Beijing Party Committee Chinese Communist

Party Delegation May 6 to 10, 2002

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