Chinese media dominated by headlines of Kim Jong-il’s death

Social media sites, TV and newspapers have been flooded by reports and comments on North Korean lead

The death of North Korea's "dear leader" Kim Jong-il is being widely reported in the Chinese media and commented on social media sites in China.

An official statement by Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Liu Weimin said China was "shocked" about the death of the leader, who was a "great friend of the Chinese people" and a "noble leader".

His death was reported somberly on state television and a lot of coverage focused on the impact of his death.

Mourners showed up to the North Korean Embassy in Beijing with flowers, according to Xinhua News Agency.

But a lot of media coverage looked ahead at North Korea's relations with its neighbours and speculated on security and stability on the Korean peninsula.

One article on Global Times cites an analyst, Mei Xinyu, commenting on the fact that the country has a current weak economy, but "retains a special place in East Asia, as it neighbors China, Japan, Russia and South Korea".

Chinese social media site weibo.com, a micro-blogging site, is being flooded by videos and pictures of Kim Jong-il, with many users hoping for change in North Korea.

One blogger asked: "Will this change the pattern of world affairs? Eagerly awaiting the next chapter...."

Another user posted a picture of Il's son Kim Jong Un, referring to him as "the great successor".