China’s Communist Party leader Xi Jinping celebrated his country’s ties to North Korea Wednesday during a meeting to welcome a delegation from Pyongyang in town to learn how to replicate the Chinese economy domestically, proclaiming that the bilateral relationship is “sealed in blood.”
While Chinese state media outlets Xinhua and the Global Times covered the meeting, North Korea’s state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) published a paraphrased version of Xi’s remarks.
The “blood” comment is notable due to both the longstanding North Korean policy against race mixing and Xi Jinping’s initiatives to impose Mandarin as a national language and replace ethnic minorities in China with Han Chinese.
In North Korea, the Kim regime imposes a strict caste system known as “songbun,” which ensures that families of Koreans who have been loyal to the Kim family for generations are treated to the best the country has to offer, while entire families can be banned from Pyongyang or sent to labor camps if one of them behaves in a way interpreted as a challenge to the Kim cult.
According to the Global Times, “the delegation includes party secretaries of all of North Korea’s provinces and cities,” who heard from Xi that China “supports North Korea’s economic development and improvement in people’s livelihood, and will back North Korea’s development path that is suitable for its own situations.”