China supports India’s economic overture toward NK’s reform, opening-up

By Hu Weijia Source:Global Times Published: 2018/5/17 23:38:40

The Indian Minister of State for External Affairs Gen VK Singh made a surprise trip to North Korea earlier this week as India sought to revive its ties with the isolated country. The visit sent a good signal for the Asian economy.

Singh was the first Indian minister received by the North Korean government in the country in nearly two decades, which added to evidence that Pyongyang will be willing to seek better ties with the international community.

After North Korea announced it would suspend all nuclear tests, the country has taken a positive attitude in advancing multilateral diplomacy. Pyongyang's efforts to improve the external environment are likely to be a prelude to promoting domestic economic development.

North Korea's leader has made economic growth the nation's new top priority, but has yet to give a clear roadmap on how to revive its economy. The more active Pyongyang's multilateral diplomacy is, the greater possibility that North Korea will buy into an economic reform and opening-up program.

We understand that New Delhi is prepared for a possible opening-up of North Korea's economy.

The nation has some key advantages in reviving its economic ties with North Korea. India is one of North Korea's largest trading partners and a major source of food aid. Refined petroleum products, food and medicine are among the main components of its exports to North Korea. All those are urgently needed in the isolated country.

Economic cooperation between India and North Korea may pick up as soon as the UN Security Council begins to loosen economic sanctions against North Korea. Singh's visit sent a signal that India is likely to be one of the first parties that Pyongyang might seek to cooperate with in a bid to revive its economy.

It was a successful trip of friendship and substantial cooperation. India's outreach to North Korea is expected to increase the country's economic presence in East Asia. It will be an inevitable consequence of the economic integration in Asia promoted by the denuclearization hope of the Korean peninsula. China will support the regional integration process by any means. The country holds a positive attitude toward the development of economic relations between India and North Korea. Beijing will most likely be willing to work with India to encourage North Korea to gradually open up its economy and help the country improve its citizens' living conditions.

The author is a reporter with the Global Times.


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