BEIJING — Chinese President Xi Jinping is sending a top political ally to attend celebrations of the 70th anniversary of North Korea’s founding this weekend.
Speculation had swirled over whether Xi would attend the celebrations following three visits to China this year by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
The ruling Communist Party’s International Department on Tuesday said Xi would be represented by Li Zhanshu, the party’s third-ranking official and head of the rubberstamp parliament.
While China-North Korea relations have improved this year following a prolonged chill, analysts said a decision by Xi not to travel to Pyongyang would indicate that Beijing expected further actions from Kim.
With China committed to U.N. economic sanctions on the North, it may be looking for real signs of progress toward denuclearization.
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