Xi vows to address differences with South Korea

Jiang Yuechun, a researcher on world economy and East Asia affairs at the China Institute of International Studies (CIIS), said the THAAD issue has affected the tourism, automobile and cosmetics businesses in South Korea.

China’s President Xi Jinping sent a message to his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-in on Thursday, pledging concerted efforts to properly address the two nations’ differences, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Leaders of South Korea and China exchanged congratulatory messages Thursday to mark the 25th anniversary of normalizing diplomatic ties between the two countries, the foreign ministry said.

Development of China-South Korea relations made a positive contribution to regional peace and development, Xinhua cited Xi as saying.

Seoul’s ties with Beijing have been frustrated the past year over the deployment of the US Terminal High-Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) anti-missile system in South Korea.

While South Korea and the United States say that the system, installed on South Korean territory, is created to intercept North Korean missiles, China believes its deployment has only escalated tensions in the region.

Chinese Foreign Ministry’s Spokeswoman Hua Chunying stated that Beijing supports South Korea’s position on solving the nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula through a peaceful dialogue.

Many tangible and mutual benefits had been delivered to people of both countries since the establishment of diplomatic ties, she told a daily news briefing.

Ruan Zongze, vice-president of the China Institute of International Studies, warned that Seoul should “have a clear understanding” of the greater damage of ties if it fails to meet Beijing halfway on the THAAD issue.

North Korea has conducted two nuclear tests and dozens of missile tests since the beginning of previous year, significantly raising tension on the heavily militarized Korean peninsula and in defiance of U.N. Security Council resolutions.

Soon after Pyongyang launched another long-range missile on July 28, Moon ordered his government to seek the deployment of additional launchers to a southern county in addition to the two already deployed launchers.

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