President Xi Jinping said Friday that China was ready to work with the Republic of Korea (ROK) to return bilateral ties to the normal track.
Xi made the remarks during a meeting with Lee Hae-chan, who is visiting China from Thursday to Saturday as ROK President Moon Jae-in’s special envoy. Xi said China attached great importance to relations with the ROK, and would like to work with the country to ensure the continuation of all the hard-won bilateral achievements.
He called on both sides to consolidate the mutual political trust and properly handle divergence on the basis of mutual understanding and mutual respect. Xi said that as close neighbors, China and the ROK had seen huge development progress since they established diplomatic relations 25 years ago.
The development of bilateral ties has resulted in enormous benefits for the peoples of both countries, and made important contributions to peace and stability in the region, he said. Xi stressed that China adheres to realizing denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, ensuring regional peace and stability, and is committed to resolving any issues through dialogue and coordination, which is in the fundamental interests of both countries and the region.
He said China is willing to enhance communication with the new government of the ROK on these issues, firmly promote denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and restart related dialogue at an early date. Lee said the ROK understood China’s major concerns and was ready to strengthen coordination with China to remove any obstacles to the development of bilateral ties.
The ROK and China share similar opinions and positions on the nuclear issues of the Korean Peninsula, Lee said, adding that the ROK is willing to work with China to realize the denuclearization of the peninsula, safeguard peace, stability and security in Northeast Asia. Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi also met with Lee Friday morning.
Yang called on the two sides to implement the consensus reached by the leaders of two countries and push bilateral ties back to a path of healthy and steady development. Yang urged the ROK to respect China’s major concerns and properly handle the issue of the deployment of the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system.
Yang said both sides should communicate and cooperate more, and work together with all involved to solve the the Korean Peninsula’s nuclear issue. Lee said the ROK understands China’s concerns and is willing to make efforts to properly solve relevant issues.