The Chinese press indicates that North Korean leader Kim Jong-il met with Chinese President Hu Jintao, and Kim likely asked Beijing to concur with North Korea's long-anticipated leadership change.
Beijing has long made it clear that it aims to keep the peace on the Korean Peninsula via a normal China-North Korea relationship, and that China will continue to encourage and help North Korea open up to the world. Many in China complain that the isolated North Korea brings too much trouble for China in international relations, and the two countries' relationship should not return to a "special" status.
The Global Times writes: “The other countries unrealistically expect China has a strong hand to teach its little brother a lesson when it gets naughty. Perhaps they do not know that North Korea has a strong mind to make its own decisions. Also, China's diplomatic principle is to not interfere with another country's internal affairs.
"A stable relationship with North Korea does not mean China has to be an enemy of Japan, South Korea or the US.”