South Korean President Moon Jae-in is set to hold talks with China's prime minister and parliamentary leader Friday on ways to improve bilateral ties between their countries.
Moon will first meet with Zhang Dejiang, the chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, the equivalent of a parliamentary speaker in other countries. Moon arrived here Wednesday for a four-day state visit and held a summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping Thursday.
The South Korean leader will later meet Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang for talks on ways to repair the countries' ties estranged by the deployment of the THAAD U.S. missile defense system in South Korea.
Seoul-Beijing relations have remained at their lowest ebb for months until they agreed to put their ties back on the normal track in a joint statement issued Oct. 31.
Many, however, believe China has yet to completely make peace with South Korea with its apparent economic retaliation against South Korean goods still in place.
During their summit Thursday, Moon and Xi underscored the need for the countries to work together to ensure mutual prosperity and the peaceful resolution of the North Korean nuclear issue.
"I believe that trust is most important not only in a relationship between persons but also between countries. I wish to solidify the foundation for a new era in the relationship between the two countries based on trust and friendship between us two leaders," Moon told Xi.
The Chinese leader acknowledged a recent setback in South Korea-China relations, but said Moon's visit may put an end to the long dispute.
"I am confident the president's visit will be an important opportunity for us to improve our relationship by paving a better way based on mutual respect and trust," he said.
Officials from the South Korean presidential office Cheong Wa Dae have said Moon's talks with Li may well mark the start of South Korea-China relations moving forward, noting the prime minister mostly handles trade issues in China, including economic sanctions and retaliations against other countries.
The Moon-Li meeting will mark the second of its kind in about a month as they earlier met on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations forum held in Manila, the Philippines on Nov. 13.
The South Korean leader was also scheduled to deliver a special speech at Peking University. He will later head to Chongqing, home to the local business operations of many prominent South Korean firms, including global automaker Hyundai Motor Co.
Moon will return home on Saturday. (Yonhap)
Kim Sua firstname.lastname@example.org
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