Critique of first report, China-Korean Relations Group

Rewrite: 

BEIJING --  President Xi Jinping said Friday that China was willing to work with South Korea to boost bilateral ties, strained by Seoul's  deployment  of an advanced U.S. antimissile system that Beijing views as a security threat.

Xi, at a meeting with a special envoy of newly elected President Moon Jae-in, said China also was willing to step up communication with Moon's government to promote denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and to restart related dialogue at an early date.


"China is willing to make joint efforts with the Republic of Korea to push bilateral ties back onto a normal track as soon as possible", Chinese President Xi Jinping told the envoy,  Lee Hae-chan.


Lee's trip follows tension over the deployment in South Korea of the so-called US Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), an advanced anti-ballistic missile system with a powerful radar that Beijing fears could be used to monitor China's own missile forces.


On April 26, part of a THAAD battery, including radar, was transported to a former golf course in the southeastern part of the ROK, causing strong protest from local residents as well as China. On May 12, the ROK's ruling Minjoo Party said it will push for a public hearing on the deployment of THAAD to stop conflicts over the issue.

The prospects for Sino-ROK ties brightened after Moon was elected on May 9. Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory telegraph to Moon on May 10 and held a phone conversation with him a day later in which agreed to keep contacts open and to meet at an early date.

Another ROK delegation, led by Park Byeong-suk, former deputy speaker of the National Assembly, visited China to attend the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation held in Beijing on May 14 and 15.

Meanwhile, according to ROK's Yonhap News Agency, signs of showing resuscitating vitality in exchanges in the public and private sectors between the two countries appeared.

South Korea's western port city of Incheon, a major gateway for exchanges with China, said Sunday that it plans to reopen a program to exchange public servants with Chinese city of Dalian in August. Launched in 2004, the program has been suspended since last year THAAD started.

"It can be told from Lee's mission that President Moon shows an obvious intention to ease up the Sino-ROK ties", said Zheng Jiyong, the director of Korean Studies Center in the Center for Asia-pacific Cooperation and Governance, "though Moon's willingness to relax the tension between two countries is good, the new government still faces many challenges."

Zheng explained that the opposition party which failed the presidential election may pose obstacles and hinder the official appointment and bill enactment of the ROK's running Party Minjoo, which may influence Moon's effort to ease Sino-ROK ties.

Jin Canrong, a professor of international relations at Renmin University of China, said Moon is embracing opportunities at this moment.

Observers of China Daily said it remains to be seen how Moon's new administration will tackle the problem of the deadlocked Sino-ROK relations triggered by THAAD.


Rotating editor: Cherry



"China is willing to make joint efforts with the Republic of Korea to push bilateral ties back onto a normal track as soon as possible", Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Friday when meeting with the Republic of Koreas' special envoy Lee Hae-chan.


During Xi's meeting at the Great Hall of People in Beijing, Lee submitted a handwritten letter by South Korea's newly-elected President Moon Jae-in and conveyed Moon's will of intensive dialogues with China.


Xi expressed willingness to handle disagreements and improve Sino-ROK relations, and told Lee in his opening remarks that his visit to China "shows that President Moon and his administration have attached high importance to our ties".

Xi also said that China is willing to enhance communication with the new government of the ROK to firmly promote denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and to restart related dialogue at an early date.

The ROK understood China's concerns and was ready to seek solutions to strengthen coordination with China to safeguard peace, stability and security in Northeast Asia, Lee said.

Lee, the former Prime Minister of ROK, had already visited China as an envoy in 2003, and is known for his familiarity with China. The appointment of Lee, a senior politician in the new government, as an envoy this time demonstrates President Moon's determination to break the ice between China and ROK.

Lee's trip comes at a time when Sino-ROK ties have suffered by the deployment in the ROK of the US Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), a preliminary land-based TMD system over Beijing's objections.

On April 26, part of a THAAD battery, including radar, was transported to a former golf course in the southeastern part of the ROK, causing strong protest from local residents as well as China. On May 12, the ROK's ruling Minjoo Party said it will push for a public hearing on the deployment of THAAD to stop conflicts over the issue.

Signs of hope about Sino-ROK relations emerged since Moon was elected on May 9. President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory telegraph to Moon on May 10 and held a phone conversation with him a day later in which agreed to keep contacts open and to meet at an early date.

Another ROK delegation, led by Park Byeong-suk, former deputy speaker of the National Assembly, visited China to attend the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation held in Beijing on May 14 and 15.

Meanwhile, according to ROK's Yonhap News Agency, signs of showing resuscitating vitality in exchanges in the public and private sectors between the two countries appeared.

South Korea's western port city of Incheon, a major gateway for exchanges with China, said Sunday that it plans to reopen a program to exchange public servants with Chinese city of Dalian in August. Launched in 2004, the program has been suspended since last year THAAD started.

"It can be told from Lee's mission that President Moon shows an obvious intention to ease up the Sino-ROK ties", said Zheng Jiyong, the director of Korean Studies Center in the Center for Asia-pacific Cooperation and Governance, "though Moon's willingness to relax the tension between two countries is good, the new government still faces many challenges."

Zheng explained that the opposition party which failed the presidential election may pose obstacles and hinder the official appointment and bill enactment of the ROK's running Party Minjoo, which may influence Moon's effort to ease Sino-ROK ties.

Jin Canrong, a professor of international relations at Renmin University of China, said Moon is embracing opportunities at this moment.

Observers of China Daily said it remains to be seen how Moon's new administration will tackle the problem of the deadlocked Sino-ROK relations triggered by THAAD.


Rotating editor: Cherry


Last modified: Wednesday, 24 May 2017, 5:22 PM