UPDATE : 2017.5.29 MON 17:16
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Moon's special envoy to visit China later this week

South Korean President Moon Jae-in's special envoy will leave for China later this week to deliver the president's message and discuss cooperation, the Chinese foreign ministry said Tuesday.

On Monday, Moon named former prime minister Lee Hae-chan as his special envoy to China. He is tasked with delivering Moon's message to his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.

The envoy is to stay in Beijing for two days until Saturday, according to Hua Chunying, spokeswoman of the Chinese foreign ministry during a regular press briefing.

President Moon Jae-in (L) shakes hands with his special envoy to China, Lee Hae-chan, at Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul on May 16, 2017, after handing over his personal letter to Chinese President Xi Jinping. (Courtesy of Cheong Wa Dae)

The spokeswoman said that Lee's visit represents the new government's will to communicate with Beijing and its emphasis on China-South Korea relations.

The Asian neighbors have seen their ties strained over the deployment of a U.S. missile defense system called THAAD in South Korea.

China has strongly protested the move, saying that it will hurt its strategic security interests. It has taken what appear to be retaliatory steps against South Korean businesses.

Hua expected that the special envoy's visit to China will play a role in ironing out differences between the two countries and contribute to advancing their bilateral relations. (Yonhap)

Lee Sung-won  edt@koreapost.com

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