|Wang Yi Meets with Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha of the ROK|
On August 6, 2017 local time, Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha of the Republic of Korea (ROK) on the sidelines of the series of Foreign Ministers' meetings on East Asia cooperation in Manila, the Philippines.
Wang Yi said that as close neighbors and important parties in Korean Peninsula affairs, it is fairly necessary for China and the ROK to maintain communication. After taking up his post, President Moon Jae-in once expressed the willingness to care for respective legitimate concerns and make utmost efforts to improve bilateral relations. However, in recent days, the ROK hastily announced to negotiate with the US on deploying missile launching vehicles of the rest Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile system, which puts a damper on the improvement momentum of bilateral relations. The deployment of THAAD goes beyond the legitimate defense need of the ROK and damages China's strategic security interests, which is neither the way that neighboring countries get along with nor the principle that strategic partners should follow. It is hoped that the ROK government could realize the essence of the problem and the damage THAAD brings to the country, make wise decisions in line with its fundamental interests and make efforts to eliminate tigers blocking the way and stumbling blocks in China-ROK relations.
Kang Kyung-wha expressed that the ROK's temporary deployment of THAAD is entirely to counter the threat of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's constant missile launches, and the final decision on the deployment depends on results of environmental-impact assessment. Early last month, the two heads of state reached important consensus on improving ROK-China relations during their meeting in the G20 summit in Berlin. The ROK hopes to maintain communication with China and strive to solve problems in bilateral relations, in a bid to push bilateral relations for substantial improvements.
Both sides exchanged views on the current Korean Peninsula situation. Wang Yi hopes that relevant parties could exercise restraint, cautiously weigh the pros and cons and avoid actions that may lead to the constant escalation of tensions, so as to create conditions for resuming peace talks. It is hoped that the ROK could give serious consideration on the "suspension for suspension" proposal put forward by China.