Behind the scenes there is a sense of shock and dismay in Beijing: if indeed Kim Jong Nam was assassinated on the orders of North Korea, it would be seen as an affront to the country that has afforded him protection for many years.
Kim Jong Nam has lived for over a decade in Beijing and Macao, apparently with wives and children in both places. Chinese experts said he had received 24-hour protection–and monitoring–from China’s security services, as well as financial assistance when he needed it.
Said Wang Weimin, a professor at the School of International Relations and Public Affairs at Fudan University in Shanghai, “Kim Jong Nam’s assassination makes China more aware of how unpredictable and cruel the current North Korean regime is, as well as Kim Jong Un’s willingness to abandon China and sell it for his own benefit at any second.”
Relations between Beijing and Pyongyang have deteriorated significantly in recent years, with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Kim Jong Un never having met and believed to share mutual disdain, experts say.