According to Yonhap:
China has encouraged its companies doing business in North Korea to remain confident, despite strained political ties between the two neighbors.
The Chinese ambassador to North Korea, Li Jinjun, made the remarks at a meeting on Wednesday with a group of Chinese businessmen in North Korea, the Chinese Embassy in Pyongyang said in a statement.
Li told the Chinese businessmen that he has briefed North Korean officials on China’s ambitious Silk Road project aimed at reviving the ancient trade route between Asia and Europe.
Taking advantage of the Chinese Silk Road project, Li “encouraged Chinese companies to seize the opportunity to remain confident in their businesses in North Korea,” according to the statement.
Since taking up office in March, the Chinese ambassador has held a series of meetings with North Korean officials, including North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Ri Gil-song and Minister of Foreign Trade Ri Ryong-nam.
With a US$40 billion fund, the Silk Road project, known as “One Belt, One Road” in China, is designed to build ports, expressways, railways and other infrastructure with its neighboring countries.
China is North Korea’s economic lifeline and diplomatic backer, but political ties have strained in recent years, particularly after the North’s third nuclear test in early 2013.
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Chinese firms urged to remain confident in N. Korea