Sunday, January 21, 2018 | ePaper

China willing to help end rift with South Korea: Xi

  • Print


South Korean special envoy Lee Hae-chan, (left), passes on a hand-written letter from South Korean President Moon Jae-in to Chinese President Xi Jinping during a meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Friday.

AP, Beijing  :
Chinese President Xi Jinping said Friday he's willing to help ties with South Korea return to a "normal track" amid a rift over Seoul's deployment of a high-tech U.S. missile-defense system to guard against North Korean threats.
Xi's remarks came in a meeting with South Korean special envoy Lee Hae-chan, who was dispatched to Beijing by new President Moon Jae-in on a mission to reopen contacts and seek a way out of the current impasse that has hit South Korean businesses hard.
China "is committed to resolving any issues through dialogue and coordination, which is in the fundamental interests of both countries and the region," Xi was quoted as saying by China's official Xinhua News Agency.
Earlier in the day, Lee met with State Councilor Yang Jiechi, Xi's senior foreign policy adviser, and on Thursday with Foreign Minister Wang Yi. They were believed to have held talks on prospects for containing North Korea's missile and nuclear weapons activities as well as the economic fallout over the deployment in South Korea of the U.S. missile defense system called THAAD.
It wasn't clear if THAAD came up in Xi's talks with Lee, during which the Chinese leader sat at the head of the table in a manner usually reserved for meetings with lower-ranking Chinese officials.
However, Lee was quoted by Xinhua as saying that South Korea "understood China's major concerns and was ready to strengthen coordination with China to remove any obstacles to the development of bilateral ties."
Lee earlier said Moon had sent him to China to keep communications open "at a critical time." Seoul and Washington have argued that the missile system is aimed at North Korean aggression, while China sees it as a threat to its own security because its radar can peer deep into northeastern China. China is North Korea's biggest economic partner and source of diplomatic support and has come under heavy pressure to use its influence to rein in the North's missile and nuclear activities. China says its influence has been exaggerated and has called on South Korea and the U.S. to end large-scale wargames seen as threatening by North Korea in exchange for the North suspending its missile launches and nuclear tests.
Beijing has retaliated against Seoul over THAAD by suspending visits to South Korea by Chinese tour groups and trips to China by South Korean entertainers. South Korean businesses have faced boycotts, especially the retail group Lotte which provided the land on which the missile shield is being constructed.

More News For this Category

Sharif`s daughter Maryam to contest in next poll

Sharif`s daughter Maryam to contest in next poll

PTI, Islamabad  :Maryam Nawaz, the media-savvy daughter of ousted Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif, has decided to contest in the next General Election, a prominent newspaper reported on Friday,

Female Sherpa from Nepal scales new heights

Female Sherpa from Nepal scales new heights

AFP, Kathmandu :When Dawa Yangzum Sherpa first set her sights on being a mountain guide, she was told it was no job for a girl. Now she has proved

US warship 'violated' its sovereignty: China

US warship 'violated' its sovereignty: China

AFP, Beijing :Beijing on Saturday said it had dispatched a warship to drive away a US missile destroyer which had "violated" its sovereignty by sailing close to a shoal

Trump support carries rewards and risks for Israel

Trump support carries rewards and risks for Israel

AP, Jerusalem : From recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital to cutting aid to Palestinians, President Donald Trump has given Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu the unprecedented gift of strong U.S. alignment

News In Brief

Egypt's President to run for second term Reuters, CairoEgypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said on Friday he will run for a second term in office in an election in

Mattis warns of 'growing threats' from Russia, China

Mattis warns of 'growing threats' from Russia, China

AFP, Washington :Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Friday that America is facing "growing threats" from China and Russia, and warned that the US military's advantages have eroded in recent

2017 was among the planet`s hottest years on record

2017 was among the planet`s hottest years on record

The Washington Post :2017 was among the hottest years ever recorded, government scientists reported Thursday.The year was the second-hottest in recorded history, NASA said, while scientists from the National

China sees births fall despite push for second child

AFP, Beijing  :The number of births in China fell last year even though the world's most populous country has relaxed its one-child policy to allow all couples to have

May, Macron strike border security deal at UK summit

May, Macron strike border security deal at UK summit

AFP, Sandhurst :Prime Minister Theresa May and her French counterpart Emmanuel Macron agreed a new border security deal on Thursday, through which the UK will pay more to France

Threat from nukes, other weapons, gathers force: UN Chief

Threat from nukes, other weapons, gathers force: UN Chief

AP, United Nations :Russia's foreign minister warned Thursday that a failure of the Iran nuclear deal, especially as a result of action by the Trump administration, would send "an