China Appoints 'Pro-U.S.' Ambassador to North Korea
September 9, 2006
Soth Korea - Dong-A Ilbo - Original
Liu Xiaoming, one of China's
'American hands,' heads is
bounf for Pyongyang.
attention, China has appointed a diplomatic expert on the United States as its new
ambassador to Pyongyang. On Thursday, Chinese President Hu Jintao appointed the 50-year-old assistant governor of Gansu Province, Liu
Xiaoming . The Chinese media,
including the Xinhua News Agency, reported in chorus that Liu had
never before served in any department dealing with North Korea nor the Korean Peninsula
Liu has no experience in regard to the Korean Peninsula, he does have extensive
experience in U.S. affairs. This is the first time that China has sent a U.S.
specialist to the North as an ambassador.
earning his Master's Degree at Tufts University's Fletcher School of Law and
Foreign Affairs in 1983, he has mainly worked for the Chinese Embassy in Washington
and the North American and Oceania Affairs Department at the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs (MOFA). So far, Liu's time in non U.S.-related posts has
amounted to a mere five years; two years and seven months as assistant governor
of Gansu Province; four months as a MOFA staff member; and two years and one
month as Chinese ambassador to Egypt.
he is the first Chinese ambassador to North Korea born after the Korean War. Unlike
Liu, his predecessors in the post such as present ambassador Wu Donghe were
born in the 1930s or 40s, and experienced the China-North Korea honeymoon.
Note: North Korea was officially established in 1948, under the supervision of the
occupying Soviet forces. Large amounts of Chinese influence began in 1949 ].
agree that such a dramatic change reflects China's efforts to take a fresh approach
to core diplomatic issues such as North Korea's nuclear program and its missile
with the issue say that the appointment demonstrates Beijing's intention to
untangle issues that involve North Korea and the United States. Some observers
also predict that relations between China and North Korea, which are often characterized
as a "blood-pledge," are now due for a change.
North Korean Dictator Kim Jong-il: If wishes to
discuss the U.S., he will soon have a Chinese
ambassador on hand capable of filling him in.
China is a
nation the requires a number of decades of fast but
stable growth to become an advanced nation. Given this, Beijing simply cannot
ignore or reject American demands in regard to North Korea's nuclear program,
since the U.S. remains the world's greatest economic and military power. In
other words, it appears that Beijing, which until now has offered only "carrots"
to Pyongyang, is now likely to use some "sticks" as well.
of Liu signals a shift in Chinese diplomacy in regard to North Korea," said the
Wen Wei Po Daily, a Hong Kong-based newspaper.
timing of Liu's transfer is grabbing particular attention, because Liu is
likely to be the deliverer of a signed letter from China's leadership inviting
North Korean leader Kim Jong-il to Beijing. At a regular briefing on Thursday, Chinese
Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang reiterated the likelihood of this.
Within Chinese diplomatic circles, the discussion is about the unprecedented step
of having someone who has yet to be accredited as ambassador to the receiving
country, delivering such an invitation signed by the inviting nation's head of