North East Asia Security
and International Relations
Up-to-date summaries and translations of Chinese, Korean and Japanese language news, features and analyses
  - Making NEA sources on security and international relations more accessible
Estimated reading time:  3 minutes
Categories:  korean

Anti-China sentiments are spreading in Pyongyang

Updated: Jul 19, 2019

평양시민들 사이에 반중 분위기 확산

Aug. 22, 2018


Leading up to the 70th anniversary of the political leadership of the Worker’s Party of Korea’s (WPK), a rumour has spread in Pynogyang that China’s Chairman Xi Jinping could visit North Korea. However, a source has indicated that anti-China sentiments have grown among Pyongyang intellectuals as well as among the city’s residents.

평양시민들 사이에 반중 분위기 확산

Report (Sohn Hyomin):

On August 20, a resident of Pyongyang who was on a private holiday in Dandong, China, told Radio Free Asia that “Pyongyang is welcoming the 9.9 festival celebrating the founding of the republic (i.e., North Korea) and making preparations for political events, and rumours are widespread that China’s Chairman Xi Jinping has been invited and will attend.” He also stated “Because of this, among Pyongyang’s residents at this time, formerly quelled anti-China sentiment have again risen their head”…

“Nowadays Pyongyang intellectuals think that China’s plans to make large investments in our country are firstly motivated by the intention to take all our natural resources, and further, to drive a wedge into the gradually improving North Korea-United States relationship.”

“On the other hand they charge the central leadership’s (Kim Jong-un) actions to protect and unconditionally obey the Chinese leadership as following the policy of [the former Joseon dynasty] of subservience to great powers.”…

“The Chinese leadership, which used to attach importance to its relationship with North Korea, talks about the alliance forged in blood, yet actively participates in [enforcing] UN sanctions and don’t know how great have been the hardships that we have come to endure.” He also stated “When the North-South relationship is being normalised and the North Korea-American relationship is rapidly progressing, China suddenly changes its demeanor and acts like a friend - it is clear what its underlying intentions are.”

“This year, even though we witnessed a series of Sino-North Korean leadership meetings, and the slogan of a ‘relationship forged in blood’ has since been proclaimed on a daily basis, Pyongyang residents think that our nation is again playing into China’s hands.” He also said “As for the news that Chairman Xi Jinping will visit us during the 9.9 festival [celebrating the founding of the republic], Pyongyang residents can see that China treats their country as a vassal state and is inclined to use us when we are useful and discard us when we are of no value to them, and they are furious about that.”

“China is two faced in that it is definitely not on North Korea’s side yet can neither discard North Korean.”

“Not only the residents of Pyongyang - when the prominent ‘Donju’ [i.e., entrepreneurs] of the regional areas gather in their drinking parties, they think that because the current American president is a former entrepreneur that has made a lot of money, he will try to resolve the [problems with] the North Korean-United States relationship in a positive manner … With regard to America, which was [traditionally] seen to be our enemy, I have come to feel that positive sentiments are rising.”