Korea, China delicately celebrate 30 years of ties
“I truly hope and believe that China and Korea will work together to uphold mutual respect and mutual trust and strive for a win-win cooperation for peace and friendship,” Xing Haiming said at a reception the embassy hosted at the Shilla Hotel in Seoul on Monday.
While Xing did not address directly the recent war of words between the two nations regarding the U.S.-led antimissile defense system, he stressed that both nations “respect each other’s core issues of concerns and interests.”
Beijing has objected to the Seoul-Washington agreement to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (Thaad) system in Korea since it was announced in 2016, calling it an American scheme to spy on China.
The problem flared again recently when the Chinese Foreign Ministry called on Korea to keep to a promise made by a previous government in Seoul about Thaad.
The Moon Jae-in government promised Beijing in October 2017 not to make additional deployments of the Thaad anti-missile shield, participate in an American missile defense network or transform the U.S.-Korea-Japan alliance into a military alliance, altogether termed as a “Three Nos” policy.
Since its inauguration in May, the Yoon Suk-yeol government has said it is not bound to the pledge made by Moon, stating it was not an agreement made between Beijing and Seoul.
Beijing has not backed down, even adding what it calls “one restriction” to the Three Nos, referring to restricting the use of the Thaad system already deployed in Korea.
Also attending the reception in Seoul on Monday were Unification Minister Kwon Young-se, Deputy Foreign Minister Yeo Seung-bae and National Assembly Speaker Kim Jin-pyo.
“Korea and China are now indispensable friends of each other,” said Kim. “I hope that the bilateral relations will only develop further as we celebrate the 30th anniversary.”
Korea and China established diplomatic ties on Aug. 24, 1992.
The foreign ministries of both nations will be hosting an event on Wednesday to commemorate the 30 years of ties, which will be attended virtually by both foreign ministers, who were scheduled to convey statements from their presidents.
BY ESTHER CHUNG [email@example.com]