[Exclusive] “Hallyu ban to be removed quickly”: Hopes of thaw in Seoul-Beijing ties

Oct 24, 2017, 09:24 am

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A special talk between Woo Jong-soon, president of Asia Today and Long Yuxiang, Executive Chairman of China International Cultural Communication Center (CICCC)
Long Yuxiang (right), Executive Chairman of China International Cultural Communication Center (CICCC), had a special meeting with Asia Today president Woo Jong-soon on Oct. 12 to seek out a solution to mend strained ties between China and South Korea. After the meeting, Long presented the Royal Seal to Woo in hopes that Asia Today will work as a bridge between China and South Korea./ Photographed by Song Ui-joo (songuijoo@)

By AsiaToday reporter Choi Tae-beom

A high-ranking official in the Chinese culture industry said he is willing to withdraw China's ban on Hallyu, or the Korean wave.

There is increasingly more hope of a thawing in Seoul-Beijing relations, which have been strained over the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system, through private cultural exchanges between the two countries.

Asia Today, one of the leading newspapers in Asia, held a special meeting between its president Woo Jong-soon and Long Yuxiang, Executive Chairman of China International Cultural Communication Center (CICCC) on Oct. 12.

Long and Woo had a special luncheon for nearly two hours at Haeundae Grand Hotel, the official hotel of the 22nd Busan International Film Festival. During the talk, Long revealed, "I will make best efforts to remove China's ban on Korean drama series, movies, concerts, and other cultural content."

The remark of Long, who holds a crucial role in the Chinese government's biggest focal project "One Belt, One Road," is expected to make a breakthrough to smooth the strained ties between the two countries.

In particular, Long repeatedly asked for Asia Today's role as the most powerful bridge connecting South Korea and China, starting with "The Belt and Road International Fashion Week", which is set to take place in Guangzhou in December.

Long strongly hoped that Asia Today could deliver the news of China's One Belt, One Road project to the world very well, and that Woo to act as a great bridge between the two countries by inviting him to China.
Woo also expressed his strong hope that Long's visit to South Korea and the special talk will be a new momentum and switching point for the Beijing-Seoul ties that have been strained over the THAAD issue.

"The One Belt and One Road initiative is a great dream to make China as well as the whole world united. I ask Asia Today to join in actively." In response, Woo said, "We will play a role as a true bridge that makes a breakthrough in the strained Seoul-Beijing relations and to make substantial progress."

Asia Today president Woo Jong-soon (left) shakes hands Executive Chairman Long Yuxiang of China International Cultural Communication Center (CICCC) on Oct. 12./ Photographed by Song Ui-joo (songuijoo@)

◇ "More private exchanges for the improvement of the Seoul-Beijing relations"

Woo Jong-soon
"I am deeply grateful for your visit to South Korea in order to promote cultural exchanges between the two countries despite your busy schedule. I sincerely hope that your efforts to promote cultural cooperation and exchanges between South Korea and China will bring great achievements. I also hope that Xi Jinping's great global governance plan called "One Belt, One Road" initiative will make a big contribution to the Seoul-Beijing relations as well as the peace and prosperity of Asia and the world. In particular, I hope that your visit will be a valuable opportunity to thaw the Seoul-Beijing relations, which have been strained over THAAD issue, and be an important chance to upgrade the bilateral ties further."

Long Yuxiang
"Thank you for your invitation. China is well aware of Asia Today and that it has been contributing to cultural exchanges between the two countries. This year marks the 25th anniversary of Seoul-Beijing ties. China and South Korea have been good friends and good neighbors for a long time. The ties have developed economically, politically, and culturally for the last 25 years. I know that Asia Today is making a significant contribution to the Seoul-Beijing relations as well as the prosperity and peace of Asia. I would like to thank Asia Today for making a lot of contributions in the public sector."

Woo Jong-soon
"Your visit to Korea is regarded as the visit of a top Chinese official for the Seoul-Beijing ties that have been strained over the THAAD issue. I hope you achieve the desired accomplishment through this visit."

Long Yuxiang
"Both China and South Korea should value their friendship of 25 years. We are also eager to find a way to solve the THAAD issue. Through a good talk, I will make my efforts to improve the bilateral relations so that they can further advance culturally and economically. I believe Asia Today can be a great help in order to reach that goal. We want to bring peace to the world through the media. President Xi also puts great importance to the Beijing-Seoul ties. Especially, he is working on many projects in the fields of economy, trade, culture, and politics. The One Belt, One Road initiative is aimed to make a great contribution throughout the Asian region. Its meaning is to cooperate and coexist with each other. It means moving forward together by helping each other, rather than a big fish swallowing a little fish. China places great importance on helping developing countries. There is an old Chinese saying that you must build a bridge to be rich. Therefore, Xi Jinping's concept of the One Belt, One Road can be called "the bridge of happiness, the bridge of prosperity.'"

In this regard, Long introduced a "Golden Bridge of Silk Road" structure, which has been installed outside the National Convention Center, the venue for the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, in Beijing in May. The Golden Bridge, which represents the world's cooperative development and prosperity, is 28 meters long, 4.8 meters wide and 6 meters high. It is made of 20,000 artificial resin bricks, which were the same size of those used to make the Great Wall. The bricks have signatures of over 100 world leaders.

◇“THAAD issue should be solved peacefully…Economic and cultural exchanges will improve relations"

Woo Jong-soon
"Currently, the Seoul-Beijing relations are strained over THAAD, which is a political, diplomatic and security issue. At a time like this, a new momentum and switching point for the Beijing-Seoul ties should be created through active exchange, communication and cooperation in the private sector, including the promotion of cultural cooperation and exchange between the two countries that Long has been focusing on. At the moment, President Moon Jae-in and Chinese President Xi Jinping as well as all the Koreans and Chinese people hope to resolve the North Korean nuclear issue as soon as possible for peace on the Korean Peninsula and stability in Asia. As Xi pointed out, this is the right moment for the Seoul-Beijing relations to move beyond the "qiu tong cun yi" (求同存異, seeking common ground while holding back differences) and go for the "qiu tong hua yi" (求同化異; pursuing common ground and reconciling differences). The Korean and Chinese governments and the people should make more efforts to peacefully resolve pending issues including the THAAD issue."

Long Yuxiang
"Not only Korea but also China wants to solve the THAAD issue in a peaceful way. The bureaucratic way did not solve the problem. We must solve it through dialogue and peaceful exchanges. My Korea visit is aimed to attend the Busan International Film Festival. Promoting such cultural exchanges can improve relations between countries. As you said, cultural exchange is important, and exchanges between private organizations are also important. Some people with a bad idea are doing bad things in Asia, and all the people in Asia will not agree with it."

Woo Jong-soon
"President Moon Jae-in is likely to visit China as soon as possible to make attempts to smooth the strained relations through the summit with Xi Jinping. A practical and visible 'strategic partnership' between Seoul and Beijing for the North Korean issue as well as the peace and prosperity of Northeast Asia is more urgent than ever. Especially, in order for Xi Jinping's global governance plan "One Belt, One Road" initiative to make a fruitful outcome, Korea's cooperation among Northeast Asian countries is essential. And we should never let the THAAD issue hit the whole Seoul-Beijing ties hard. The Seoul-Beijing relations must be future-oriented and go forward with mutual development."

◇“Moon Jae-in and Xi Jinping should seek a practical strategic and cooperative partnership"

Long Yuxiang
"Xi Jinping's invitation to Moon Jae-in will have a huge historical significance. This is because it will be a big issue in the international politics that not only both countries but also the world will pay attention to. By nature, sometimes you get along with your neighbors and sometimes you don't. It's because they live next door. Communicating with each other and stepping back to live in peace is what we’ve always been looking for. I hope that we are able to maintain good relations through various private exchanges in economy, trade, culture and arts. Let's not forget our history and original intention and keep our friendship to make a better future together."

Woo Jong-soon
"We plan to establish a strong relationship so that Asia Today can virtually cover all the One Belt, One Road related policies, projects, and events exclusively, including the 2nd Belt and Road International Fashion Week which will be held in Guangzhou in December. As a representative public benefit media in Asia, we will take the role of a bridge to the practical development of relations between Korea and China through various kinds of nongovernmental diplomacy. I ask the Chinese government's, China International Cultural Communication Center's and your complete support and cooperation so that Asia Today, which reports Asia news in the fastest, most accurate, and broad way, can practically enhance the Seoul-Beijing relations."

Long Yuxiang
"We are deeply grateful for Asia Today's and your interest and support of China's Belt and Road International Fashion Week. This event will be a stage to show the fashion culture of each country and it is a good opportunity to decorate One Belt, One Road with beautiful costumes. A nation's overall power is reflected in the happiness and welfare of the people. And the level of the people's happiness is reflected in the daily clothes of the people. Korean fashion is famous enough to sweep the whole world. We also hope that Korean fashion and clothes will become more widely known through this opportunity. We warmly welcome Asia Today's and your attendance to the event."

Asia Today president Woo Jong-soon (left) holds a special meeting on Oct. 12 with Executive Chairman Long Yuxiang of China International Cultural Communication Center (CICCC), who visited South Korea to attend the opening ceremony of the Busan International Film Festival, to seek out a solution to mend strained ties between China and South Korea./ Photographed by Song Ui-joo (songuijoo@)

◇“Asia Today to exclusively cover China's Belt and Road International Fashion Week in December"

Woo Jong-soon
"Thank you for inviting South Korea to the International Fashion Week for promotion of Korea-China friendship. I'd also like to express my sincere gratitude for the appointment of Saddle Point chairman Koo Bon-il as chief Korean representative of the Fashion Week. Not only we will take charge of covering the Belt and Road International Fashion Week with full responsibility, but we also plan to promote all kinds of China's Belt and Road projects to the world through mobile, internet, and video platforms in Korean, Chinese, and English in real time as a result of our cooperation with China International Cultural Communication Center."

Long Yuxiang
"I hope that Asia Today will introduce the news of upcoming International Fashion Week to the world very well. People are interested in fashion, and it is especially important to promote Korean fashion all over the world. I believe that people can live happier if the countries exchange their fashion culture with each other. of China International Cultural Communication Center will cooperate closely with Asia Today to successfully wrap up the Fashion Week. In particular, President Xi puts a high value on craftsmanship, so he protects the works and costumes of designers who created their own brands. Our goal is to let the world know about the beautiful story and make all the people live happily with this event. I also hope that Asia Today becomes a world-class media beyond Asia through this event. The Belt and Road is a great dream that unites not only China but also the world. So I ask Asia Today to please join us."

#Hallyu ban #Seoul-Beijing ties #Woo Jong-soon #Long Yuxiang #China International Cultural Communication Center 
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