hina — North Korea’s only global ally and biggest trading partner — has put on a stoic face since Pyongyang successfully conducted its sixth nuclear test Sunday.
President Xi Jinping didn’t mention his country’s unruly neighbor at all in his closing address at the BRICS summit of emerging economies Tuesday, or in earlier speeches, although a communique issued by the group expressed deep concern and called for the crisis to be settled peacefully.
But the test of a hydrogen bomb couldn’t have sat well with China’s leader.
It’s the third time in one year that North Korea has overshadowed a major Chinese event — previous missile tests coincided with the unveiling of Xi’s global economic blueprint at his Belt and Road summit in May and the G20, which China hosted last September.
“The Chinese have been pressing North Korea very hard not to stage a nuclear test,” said Mike Chinoy, a former CNN Beijing bureau chief and the author of “Meltdown: Inside the story of the North Korean Nuclear Crisis.”
“For the North Koreans to deliberately choose a few hours before a very important summit meeting when Xi Jinping is hosting the leaders from India, Brazil and South Africa — a big, big deal for the Chinese — is a deliberate poke in the eye from North Korea.”