Exclusive: U.S. complains to China about North Korea’s attendance at Silk Road summit

People take pictures in front of a “Golden Bridge on Silk Road” installation, set up ahead of the Belt and Road Forum, outside the National Convention Centre in Beijing, China May 11, 2017. REUTERS/Stringer

By Ben Blanchard and John Ruwitch | BEIJING/SHANGHAI Fri May 12, 2017 | 12:10pm EDT

The United States warned China on Friday that North Korea’s attendance at a weekend summit on China’s new Silk Road could affect the participation of other countries, casting a shadow over what is Beijing’s biggest diplomatic event of 2017.

Two sources with knowledge of the situation said the U.S. embassy in Beijing had submitted a diplomatic note to China’s foreign ministry, saying that inviting North Korea sent the wrong message at a time when the world was trying to pressure Pyongyang over its repeated missile and nuclear tests.

China’s Foreign Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment outside of working hours in China. The ministry said on Tuesday that North Korea would send a delegation to the summit but gave no other details.

Asked about the invitation to North Korea to attend, Anna Richey-Allen, a spokeswoman for the U.S. State Department’s East Asia Bureau, said the United States expected China to push its neighbor to return to “serious talks” on denuclearization.

“That includes taking steps to make clear to the (North Korean leader) Kim Jong Un regime the political, economic, and diplomatic consequences of its reckless and unlawful actions.”

The United States did not think it would be appropriate for North Korea to play a prominent role at the Belt and Road Forum, according to one of the sources familiar with the U.S. concerns.

The United States will send a delegation led by White House adviser Matt Pottinger to the summit, China’s Foreign Ministry said earlier on Friday.

U.S. President Donald Trump has asked China to put more pressure on North Korea, and has praised Chinese President Xi Jinping’s role in trying to rein in Pyongyang.

A source with knowledge of the note said that some Western countries could walk out of the specific session of the summit the North Koreans were attending if they were given too important a role, but that no decisions had been taken yet.

“This has generated a lot of concern,” the source said.

It was not immediately clear which sessions North Korea would attend. There are several sessions happening on Sunday afternoon, including on trade, finance and people-to-people exchanges. China has given few details about attendees.

North Korea’s chief delegate may also appear on stage in a group photo with other participants, said the same source, who is familiar with the planning for the summit.

China has not announced who that chief delegate will be, but South Korea’s Yonhap news agency said Kim Yong Jae, North Korea’s minister of external economic relations, will lead the delegation.


Leaders from 29 countries will attend the forum in Beijing on May 14-15, an event orchestrated to promote Xi’s vision of expanding links between Asia, Africa and Europe underpinned by billions of dollars in infrastructure investment.

Some Western diplomats have expressed unease about both the summit and the plan as a whole, seeing it as an attempt to push Chinese influence globally.

They are also concerned at the presence of leaders from countries with poor human rights records.

China has rejected criticism of the plan and the summit, saying the scheme is open to all, is a win-win and is only about promoting prosperity.

Some of China’s most reliable allies and partners will attend the forum, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev.

However, the only leader from a G7 nation to attend will be the Italian prime minister, according to China’s foreign ministry.

Despite Chinese anger at North Korea’s repeated nuclear and missile tests, China remains the isolated state’s most important economic and diplomatic backer, even as Beijing has signed up for tough U.N. sanctions against Pyongyang.

China has over the years tried to coax North Korea into cautious, export-oriented economic reforms, rather than saber rattling and nuclear tests, but to little avail.

(Additional reporting by Michael Martina in BEIJING and David Brunnstrom in WASHINGTON; Editing by Mike Collett-White)

Source: Reuters “Exclusive: U.S. complains to China about North Korea’s attendance at Silk Road summit”

Note: This is Reuters’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


8 Comments on “Exclusive: U.S. complains to China about North Korea’s attendance at Silk Road summit”

  1. Anon says:

    “Two sources with knowledge of the situation said the U.S. embassy in Beijing had submitted a diplomatic note to China’s foreign ministry, saying that inviting North Korea sent the wrong message at a time when the world was trying to pressure Pyongyang over its repeated missile and nuclear tests.”

    What’s with the U.S.? Who is running the country? The State Department officials seems to be a power unto themselves working at cross purposes with their boss – the president of the United States?

    Is applying the “stick” the only way, the bullying America under the neocon influenced imperialistic colonialist U.S., the only way they know how to convince other countries to do what is “right”?

    What’s wrong with a little “carrot” or public relations thoughtfulness or just showing some leadership? It’s what mediators and brokers do. Is the American State Department that dumb? You want President Xi and China to help and you want to shoot them in the foot?

    The U.S. bureaucrats are incorrigible and hopeless. Better to shut its government and “swamp” Washington down in its entirerity and start totally afresh. It seems this “bankrupt” country has come that stage.


    • Anon says:

      Actually, one wonders if the two anonymous “sources” the writer refers to are real or fake; That, is, the content written is pure lies and fabrication? But if true ambassador and the department’s officials are morons. Is it likely the new U.S. ambassador would do such a thing or is he being targeted and set up by the out-of-control American mainstream media because he has good relations with the Chinese, President Xi in particular? Most likely, it is a typical smear attempt by the mercenary unprofessional journalists doing their “swamp” bosses.


  2. Steve says:

    Some western diplomats have expressed uneasiness of the OBOR summit as an avenue to push China’s influence globally. Sounds as if these western diplomats are caught by surprise that OBOR suddenly materialised overnight or they are completely ignorant of China’s phenomenal economic rise as the second largest economy in the world. OBOR initiative is China’s greatest strategic advancement in modern history and unselfishly encourages countries to participate in this win win infrastructure investment for the purposes of trade and prosperity.

    The western diplomats are concerned about the presence of some leaders with poor human rights record. I wonder if these western leaders close a blind eye to the genocidal atrocities by some western leaders such as the invasion of Iraq, Libya, Syria and now Yemen ……..

    As far as Nth Korea is concerned, China has the political and economic wisdom to bring about change in the Korean peninsula. The US and Sth Korea cannot have it both ways with the Sade
    offensive and sanctions against Nth Korea, starving the entire population. OBOR initiative is the brainchild of China’s government, a Chinese ingenuity for strategic infrastructure investment, trade and prosperity. China has the responsibility for Nth Korea’s survivability. China controls almost 90% of Nth Korean trade. China is wise in inviting Nth Korea’s participation.

    The US is opposed to Nth Korea’s delegation to the OBOR summit and yet President Trump wants to invite President Kim Jong Un and his delegation to the White house. This is truly the United Scoundrels of America.


  3. Simon says:

    If you want peace in NE Asia it is sensible to bring North Korea into the fold. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi was right when he told the Trump regime that war happens when countries stop trading because they don’t see any benefits from each other. The OBOR comes under the leadership of Beiing not the UN so it does not breach any UN sanction against North Korea. If America don’t like it it can take no part in the meetings since they are of no benefit to OBOR anyway.


  4. johnleecan says:

    The western countries that would walk out are those that are pressured by America – a country with a long history and a long list of human rights abuse and whose president acknowledged he like and still endorse the use of torture like waterboarding because according to Trump, it works. America is a country with a horrible human rights record masking only in the name of democracy. The American government murdering millions of people and destroying countries around the world because it works for their interests and their money making schemes. A true satanic country this America has become. Even Lucifer fail in comparison to the American government and their allies’ atrocities.


  5. Joseph says:

    Wow, this is the first. Normally it was China who complained about American preferential treatment to rogue states such as Taiwan and Philippines. What happens to those Trump’s pressure on China? It doesn’t appear to have any effect. Is it another Trump’s famous bluff to the American people? First Trump asked unwilling China to solve America’s North Korea problem with confidence. Then the fake dispatch of American strike to North Korea, followed by the second fake dispatch. Then the plea-begging of more sanctions towards North Korea, instead of military action. Now he has to watch that China actually opens North Korea for business? What could be more embarrassing? The American certainly wouldn’t want to trade with North Korea, but many others certainly would. If the American is talking about sending the wrong message to North Korea, the American has actually been sending the right message to the region that USA is now nothing more than a paper tiger, or rather a twitter cat. Who would have guess that the ‘great’ dealmaker is pinned down by a spoiled brat. Meanwhile the USS Carl Vinson quitely disappears from the media fanfares. It is like Nixon went to China in 1972 all over again. When Nixon went to China in 1972, he announced that American troops would withdraw from fighting Vietcong as a gesture ‘good faith’ to China, while in reality America troops were actually kicked in the butt and in desperate need of an ‘honorable’ (a.k.a. not embarrassing) exit strategy. In 2017, Trump ‘dispatches’ the USS Carl Vinson out from South China Sea as a gestures of ‘responding to North Korea threat’, despite the fact that it never arrives, both in SCS and in North Korea. In reality, it desperately needs a way to end its failed FONOP mission that looks it is not being kicked out from SCS by the Chinese Navy.


    • Steve says:

      Nice Words – twitter cat…Looks like old head Trump may run out of options by the end of his first 365 days, by the end of 730 days (2 yrs) he is going nuts and by the end of 1,095 days (3 years), he wont be running for office anymore, can’t wait to retire.


  6. Anonymous says:

    upvoted for delicious kkkunt tears