Xi, Putin oppose THAAD deployment in S Korea


Visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, met in Moscow and agreed to further cement bilateral ties and strengthen coordination on the Korean Peninsula and other major issues.
The two leaders agreed the Korean Peninsula issue should be settled via dialogue, and opposed the deployment of THAAD in South Korea.
China and Russia are comprehensive strategic partners of coordination, and it is quite important for the two to intensify communication and coordination in dealing with major affairs, said Xi, who had a tete-a-tete with Putin in the Kremlin shortly after his arrival in Moscow.
The two sides should strengthen cooperation, and steadfastly support each other in pursuing their own development paths and defending their respective sovereignty, national security and development interests, added the Chinese president.
They also need to step up policy communication and action coordination on major regional and global issues, so as to tackle risks and challenges and promote world peace, stability and prosperity, he added.
Putin said he agrees that the two sides should beef up mutual support and strengthen coordination on major regional and global issues.
It is important to boost head-of-state diplomacy, which leads and promotes the development of bilateral relations, said Putin, adding that Xi’s ongoing state visit, the second of its kind since he took office in 2013, will further boost the two countries’ partnership.
The two leaders also exchanged views on the Korean Peninsula and Syria issues. They agreed to jointly push for a proper settlement of the peninsula issue via dialogue and negotiation.
As for the US deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system in South Korea, Xi and Putin said the move concerns the strategic balance in the region.
China and Russia, they stressed, are both opposed to installing THAAD in South Korea.
Russia is the first leg of Xi’s ongoing overseas trip, which will also take him to Germany for a state visit and the upcoming summit of the Group of 20 major economies.
The sit-down in Moscow is meant to focus on bolstering trade ties between the two partners, with deals worth billions of dollars expected to be signed.
“Economic questions are always at the centre of our attention but we are also engaged in coordinating our efforts on the international arena,” Putin told Xi at the start of the talks.
It is their third official meeting this year.
Xi in turn praised the “special character” of China’s ties with Russia, He called the two nations “good neighbours, faithful friends and reliable partners” in comments translated into Russian.
Ahead of his arrival in Moscow Xi said that relations with Russia were currently enjoying their “best time in history” as he and Putin have struck up a close relationship.—Xinhua/AFP

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