20 May 2017

News Report: China to Work With S Korea to Maintain Progress in Bilateral Relations

China will further work with South Korea to maintain the progress in bilateral relations and support peaceful solution of the nuclear problem on Korean Peninsula, Chinese President Xi Jinping said Friday.

BEIJING (Sputnik) – Earlier in the day, South Korean President Moon Jae-in's special envoy Lee Hae-chan arrived in China to meet with country's leadership.

"China attaches great significance to bilateral relations and is ready to cooperate with South Korean side to maintain the achievements reached between the countries," Xi was quoted as saying by the Xinhua news agency.

The president also noted that China was an adherent of denuclearization of Korean Peninsula and said that Beijing would further support the principle of maintaining peace and stability on the peninsula. According to Xi, the problem should be solved via dialogue and negotiations, which would meet the interests of China, South Korea and the whole region.

Relations between South Korea and China were affected due to Seoul's decision to deploy US Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system on the peninsula in response to the North’s missile and nuclear activity. The deployment of the THAAD system, which is designed to intercept short, medium and intermediate ballistic missiles at the terminal incoming stage, has been criticized by Beijing as undermining China's security interests.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who officially assumed office on May 10, has repeatedly criticized the previous government under impeached leader Park Geun-hye for agreeing to host the THAAD system without seeking parliamentary approval.

This story first appeared on Sputnik & is reposted here with permission.