China urges ROK to remove obstacles to ties as envoy visits Beijing
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi Thursday urged the Republic of Korea (ROK) to remove obstacles to the development of bilateral ties when meeting with the visiting special envoy of the ROK President.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, right, shakes hands with South Korean special envoy Lee Hae-chan during a meeting at the foreign ministry in Beijing, China, Thursday, May 18, 2017. [Photo: AP/Thomas Peter]
ROK should return bilateral ties to a path of healthy development, Wang told the special envoy, stressing China is willing to see a return to normal exchanges and cooperation between the two sides.
Lee Hae-chan, a member of the ROK National Assembly and former prime minister, is visiting China from Thursday to Saturday as President Moon Jae-in's special envoy.
Wang expounded on China's position on the deployment of the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system, urging the ROK to correctly deal with China's major and reasonable concern.
Lee said the ROK acknowledged that the deployment of THAAD has harmed ROK-China mutual trust and exchanges, and fully understands China's reasonable concern over the issue.
The ROK is sincerely ready to look for a solution to the issue, said Lee.
Regarding the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, Wang said China is willing to work with all sides on more effective measures, and that China insists on solving the issue through dialogue and is determined to safeguard peace and stability on the peninsula.
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.
China appreciates the new ROK government's acts to improve bilateral ties, Wang said, noting that President Moon had sent a government representative to attend the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation held in Beijing earlier this week.
The bilateral relationship has seen great development and brought major benefits to the two nations since diplomatic ties were established in 1992, Wang said, noting the setback in relations since last year is "unnecessary."