Seoul, Beijing agree to restart economic talks

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Seoul, Beijing agree to restart economic talks

Korea and China agreed to restart their annual joint economic committee session later this month in Beijing, Seoul’s Foreign Ministry said Sunday.

This is the first time since 2016 that Korean and Chinese commerce officials will have such a meeting.

The two sides didn’t hold the session last year due to the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (Thaad) system on Korean soil and the subsequent souring of relations.

“Our Foreign Ministry and China’s commerce ministry agreed to hold the 22nd committee session in Beijing later this month,” an official with Seoul’s Foreign Ministry said.

“We are currently discussing the details of the topics, but we’ll probably check on the progression of agreements that were reached at the summit between two countries last December and other bilateral economic cooperation issues.”

Korea will be represented by Second Vice Foreign Minister Cho Hyun, and his Chinese counterpart will be Vice Commerce Minister Gao Yan, the ministry said.

Korea and China have held high-level talks on a regular basis since 1993, a year after the two nations established diplomatic ties. The 21st committee session was hosted in Seoul two years ago.

A Foreign Ministry official said the two countries are likely to discuss the lifting of China’s economic restrictions on South Korean businesses, imposed following the Thaad battery deployment.

The Blue House previously stated that Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi said at a meeting with President Moon Jae-in on March 30 that issues regarding the normalization of Chinese group tours to Korea and the selling of Lotte Mart’s Chinese units will see “tangible results” in the near future.

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