China ready to join S. Korea in restoring healthy development of ties: Xi

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Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) meets with his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-in in Berlin, Germany, July 6, 2017. (Xinhua/Wang Ye)

BERLIN (Xinhua) — Chinese President Xi Jinping said here Thursday that China would like to join South Korea in returning bilateral ties to the track of healthy development.

He made the remarks while meeting with his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-in ahead of a G20 summit to be held in the northern German port city of Hamburg.

Xi said China and South Korea, two geographically close nations, share interconnected cultures and notable complementary advantages, adding over the past 25 years since the establishment of diplomatic ties the two sides have realized a leapfrog development in their relations, which has benefited the two peoples greatly and contributed to regional peace, stability, and prosperity.

He noted South Korea’s positive willingness to improve bilateral ties by dispatching a delegation to attend the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing this May and sending an envoy to China to deliver a letter hand-written by President Moon, adding that he appreciated these moves.

“For a period of time, China-South Korea relationship has been facing difficulties, and we do not want to see that,” he said.

Xi suggested that both sides revisit the experience and lessons accumulated over the years since the two countries forged their diplomatic relationship in 1992, and join hands to return bilateral ties back to the track of healthy development, saying it is a shared responsibility for both to preserve and develop their relationship.

“Our position to attach importance to South Korea and bilateral ties, as well as to be committed to fostering the friendship between the two countries has not changed,” said the Chinese president.

He also urged Seoul to attend to China’s major concerns and handle relevant issues properly so as to clear the obstacles for the development of bilateral ties.

For his part, Moon said South Korea highly values its relationship with China, adding that the two countries, which are important partners for cooperation, has a long-running history of exchanges, and share broad common interests.

He also said that since taking office, he has engaged in active interactions with China, noting that Seoul seeks to join Beijing in stepping up bilateral exchanges and cooperation at all levels and in every area so as to shape a strategic partnership for the two countries.

“I fully understand China’s concerns and I intend to have in-depth communication with the Chinese side,” he added.

On the situation in the Korean Peninsula, Xi said his country is committed to denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula, promoting peace and stability there, and settling the problem through dialogues and consultation.

He also proposed that all relevant sides should strictly stick to the related resolutions adopted by the UN Security Council, saying that China supports the new South Korean government’s efforts to restart contact and dialogue with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

In response, Moon said his country agrees that the issue should be fixed via talks, adding that he is ready to work closely with China to deliver denuclearization in the peninsula and to maintain regional peace and stability.