Signs of a thaw in South Korea-China relations

(VOVWORLD) -Relations between South Korea and China are showing signs of warming after months of chill because of Seoul’s deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system. 
Signs of a thaw in South Korea-China relations - ảnh 1 South Korean President Moon Jae-in (R) meets Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Seoul’s Blue House on December 5, 2019 (Photo: Yonhap/REUTERS)

Since South Korea’s decision to deploy THAAD in June 2017, China has restricted tourism, trade, and diplomatic activities with South Korea. But the two neighbors have been working to get their relationship back on track. Chinese President Xi Jinping and South Korean President Moon Jae-in met on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Papua New Guinea in November last year and at the G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan, this June. Official news sources said they focused mainly on North Korea’s nuclear program and free trade, rather than on THAAD or ways to improve bilateral ties.

China’s top diplomat Wang Yi’s meeting with President Moon in Seoul’s Blue House (Presidential Palace) on Thursday  was considered a sign of mending ties. This was the first visit to Seoul by Foreign Minister Wang since ties between Beijing and Seoul chilled over THAAD. At the meeting, President Moon underlined the importance of the South Korea-China partnership in dealing with security challenges and other threats. He called for Beijing’s continued support to achieve the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, a top priority of Moon’s administration. A Presidential Office statement issued afterwards said President Moon expressed his hope that President Xi Jinping will pay a State-level visit to South Korea next year to deepen their strategic cooperative partnership.

Addressing a press conference in Beijing on the same day, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said China and South Korea have agreed to settle issues related to THAAD.

Given their own substantial benefits, both China and South Korea will seek to resume relations to foster regional and global stability and prosperity.

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