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Xi renews commitment to firming up relations with N. Korea 'generation after generation'

Chinese President Xi Jinping has renewed his commitment to firm up relations with North Korea "generation after generation," saying the world is witnessing the "great rapid change unprecedented in 100 years," Pyongyang's state media reported Thursday.

Xi made the remarks in a response message to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un after Kim sent a congratulatory message earlier this month on the occasion of the 71st founding anniversary of China, according to the Korean Central News Agency.

The message appears aimed at demonstrating strong bilateral relations among the allies amid Beijing's deepening rivalry with the United States and stalled denuclearization talks with Washington. It also came days ahead of the US presidential election scheduled for early next week.

It was the fourth message exchanged between Xi and Kim in less than a month on the occasion of state anniversaries of the two countries. Last week, Kim also visited a cemetery of Chinese soldiers who fell during the 1950-53 Korean War to mark the 70th anniversary of their participation in the conflict.

"I and Comrade Chairman (Kim) have got the relations between the two parties and between the two countries to enter a new historic period through close and deep communication in recent years," the KCNA quoted Xi as saying.

Saying that the world is witnessing a "great rapid change unprecedented in 100 years," Xi noted that China is willing to develop long and friendly relations with North Korea "generation after generation," while trying to provide the peoples of the two countries "with better welfare" and propel "regional peace, stability and development."

Xi did not specify what the unprecedented rapid change in 100 years is, but it could be referring to the coronavirus global pandemic and China's deepening rivalry with the US.

Mentioning the recent 75th founding anniversary of the Workers' Party of North Korea, Xi lauded Pyongyang for "great successes in the cause of socialist construction," the KCNA said.

Xi also voiced his belief that North Korea would carry out a "new strategic line" and achieve "rich success" in the development of its state so as to successfully greet the upcoming rare party congress scheduled for early next year.

China and North Korea have shown off their strong relations in what appears to be a move to strengthen their hand amid stalled denuclearization talks and deepening rivalry between Beijing and Washington. (Yonhap)