Moon and Xi reaffirm willingness to continue working to improve relations

Dec 15, 2017, 08:38 am

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South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Chinese President Xi Jinping inspect the guard of honor during a welcome ceremony in Beijing on Dec. 14./ Source: Yonhap News

By AsiaToday reporter Joo Sung-sik 

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping reaffirmed their willingness to work together to put the Seoul-Beijing relations back on the normal track, in their third summit on Thursday. The two leaders agreed not only expand economic exchanges, but also to strengthen cooperation for the success of PyeongChang and Beijing winter Olympic Games through future-oriented strategic cooperative partnership.

President Moon emphasized the painful history shared by the two countries by mentioning the 80th anniversary ceremony of the Nanjing Massacre, which was held on the first day of his visit to China, while Chinese President Xi Jinping expressed his gratitude in response, suggesting that the bilateral relationship would improve based on mutual respect and trust. Contrary to initial concerns, the THAAD issue was not mentioned during the summit.

"The establishment of South Korean-Chinese diplomatic relations in 1992 was a monumental event that marked the beginning of post-Cold War order in Northeast Asia. Both countries have made remarkable progress in all areas over the past 25 years," Moon said at the bilateral meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. "I hope this summit becomes an opportunity to further improve the achievements made by both countries and people through strategic cooperative partnership."

Moon also said that the frosty relations in recent years could provide an opportunity for further improving relations.

Xi said Moon's visit will help improve the relations, saying, "China-South Korea relations experienced a recession because of the reason we all know. I'm confident that President Moon's state visit will be an important opportunity for us to improve our relations based on mutual respect and trust." Xi also expressed his gratitude to Moon for instructing South Korean Ambassador to China Noh Young-min, who had been planning to greet Moon at the Beijing Capital International Airport, to instead attend the memorial ceremony of the 80th anniversary of the Nanjing Massacre.

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