China's Xi says willing to put S.Korea ties back on track
China's Xi says willing to put S.Korea ties back on track
Abe, S. Korean leader's envoy agree to resume 'shuttle diplomacy'
20 May, 2017, 06:46
Mr Xi told Lee Hae-Chan, representing new South Korean President Moon Jae-In, that his visit showed the importance Mr Moon attached to relations with Beijing. Restoring relations with China, which have soured since South Korea chose to bring in the American missile defense system THAAD, has been one of President Moon Jae-in's top priorities, and Moon selected one of his closest political aides and friends as his envoy to demonstrate his sincerity about achieving that goal.
"We're willing to work with South Korea to preserve the hard-won results, properly handle disputes, put China-South Korea relations back onto a normal track and benefit both peoples on the basis of mutual understanding and mutual respect", Xi told special South Korean envoy Lee Hae-chan during a meeting Friday in Beijing.
On North Korea, which test-fired its latest ballistic missile into the Sea of Japan over the weekend, Abe said Japan, South Korea and the United States should increase pressure on the reclusive country.
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On the other hand, the President of South Korea, Moon Jae-in had sent his envoy to China.
The United States, which has 28,500 troops in South Korea to guard against the North Korean threat, has called on China to do more to rein in its ally and neighbor. China retaliated against the decision to allow the system by suspending Korean retail giant Lotte Mart's stores in its territory, banning package tours and imposing stricter rules for sales of Korean cosmetics products.
"We hope the new [South Korean] government will correct the problems we have encountered and take effective measures and positions as soon as possible to remove the obstacles that have been placed on the road to good relations between our two countries", Wang is quoted as saying by state newspaper the Global Times.
When Xi called Moon last week to congratulate him on his election, Moon reportedly asked Xi for help in ending the economic retaliation that has taken a toll on South Korean businesses.
Beijing has maintained its hard line, and in an editorial Thursday, the Communist Party newspaper Global Times said China's opposition "cannot be traded for the new government's friendly posture toward China".
The ROK-China relationship is significant for peace and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula as well as Northeast Asia, Lee said, stressing that the ROK is willing to enhance pragmatic cooperation with China and push forward the bilateral strategic partnership of cooperation. Washington later invoiced Seoul for the defense shield - a step strongly opposed by the South Korean authorities.
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