Chinese President Xi Jinping's special envoy Han Zheng (L), who is also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, meets with South Korean President Moon Jae-in in Seoul, South Korea, Feb. 8, 2018. (Xinhua/Pang Xinglei)
Chinese President Xi Jinping's special envoy Han Zheng and South Korean President Moon Jae-in held a meeting Thursday on enhancing bilateral ties and improving the situation on the Korean Peninsula in a cordial and friendly atmosphere.
FURTHER ENHANCING CHINA-S. KOREA TIES
Han, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, conveyed greetings from Xi to Moon and the Chinese president's wishes that the PyeongChang Winter Olympics will achieve great success.
It is the first time for South Korea to hold a Winter Olympic Games, and also the first large-scale international event held under the Moon administration.
During their meeting, both sides noted that Han's attendance at the opening ceremony of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics on Friday not only demonstrates China's strong support for South Korea in hosting the event, but also shows the importance China attaches to bilateral ties.
Moon asked Han to convey his cordial greetings to Xi and thanked Han for attending the opening ceremony as the Chinese president's special envoy.
The two presidents agreed that China and South Korea are close neighbors geographically and natural cooperative partners.
Since the establishment of the China-South Korea diplomatic ties in 1992, their bilateral relationship has developed in an all-round manner, Han said.
Recalling Moon's successful state visit to China in December and his telephone conversation with Xi at the beginning of the year, Han noted that the two leaders had reached important consensus on developing bilateral ties as well as strengthening coordination on key international and regional issues.
Guided by the consensus of the two presidents, China is willing to work with South Korea to uphold mutual respect and support, to fully embark on communication and dialogue at all levels, and to further boost exchanges and cooperation, Han said.
The two countries should also properly address sensitive issues and increase mutual understanding as well as trust, in order to push for constant progress and development of China-South Korea relations, Han told Moon.
Noting that bilateral ties are now at a new starting point, the South Korean president said his country is willing to make positive efforts with China to enhance political mutual trust and friendship, increase exchanges at all levels, deepen pragmatic cooperation, and strengthen communication as well as coordination on international and regional affairs, in order to achieve new progress in their strategic cooperative partnership.
OPPORTUNITY TO IMPROVE SITUATION ON PENINSULA
On the Korean Peninsula issue, Han said the situation on the peninsula is undergoing positive changes recently as South Korea and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) have taken the opportunity of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics to restart dialogue and commence cooperation, adding that the relationship between the two sides has been improved and seen progress.
Moon is scheduled to have lunch Saturday with the high-ranking DPRK delegation, led by Kim Yong Nam, president of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly.
Among the delegation was Kim Yo Jong, the younger sister of top DPRK leader Kim Jong Un. She serves as the first vice director of the Central Committee of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea (WPK).
South Korea's presidential Blue House saw a visit by Kim Yo Jong to the South Korea-hosted Winter Olympics as meaningful to ease tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
China supports the conciliation and cooperation between South Korea and the DPRK, and hopes that the relevant parties will meet each other half way and to make joint efforts in further easing the situation on the Korean Peninsula and pushing forward the political settlement process on the peninsula issue, Han said.
Expressing his appreciation for China's positive role on the Korean Peninsula issue, Moon said his country is willing to maintain communication and coordination with China to push forward the inter-Korean dialogue facilitated by the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, to settle the peninsula issue through peaceful means and to achieve sustainable peace and prosperity in the region.
Han was invited by Moon and Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee, to attend the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics.