During a meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and South Korean Prime Minister Han Duck-soo, the leaders discussed the importance of meeting halfway and enhancing supply chain integration between their countries. The meeting took place ahead of the Asian Games in Hangzhou, and it marked a significant diplomatic engagement between the two nations. President Xi emphasized the close economic ties and deep integration between China and South Korea, describing them as friendly neighbors and inseparable economic partners. He called for mutual respect and increased communication to further strengthen their relations.
Xi expressed China’s commitment to a good-neighbourly and friendly policy toward South Korea and acknowledged South Korea’s positive willingness to cooperate with China. He urged both countries to reflect the importance of their relations in policies and actions, maintain the general direction of friendly cooperation, and deepen mutually beneficial cooperation in various sectors. He highlighted the significance of their close economic ties and deep integration in industrial and supply chains, emphasizing the potential for mutual success.
Xi also mentioned that he would seriously consider visiting South Korea, which could signify a positive step in improving bilateral relations. This meeting followed a previous meeting between President Xi and South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol in November 2022 and laid the groundwork for a high-level meeting between South Korea, China, and Japan in Seoul.
The relationships between these Asian countries have faced challenges amid increasing tensions in the US-China rivalry. South Korea has been working to balance its ties with China, the US, and Japan, particularly in the context of technology-related issues. The meeting reaffirmed both countries’ commitment to peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, with South Korea urging China to play a constructive role in addressing North Korea’s nuclear threats.
According to a senior government official, during the meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and South Korean Prime Minister Han Duck-soo, there was no discussion regarding recent military cooperation between Russia and North Korea. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had announced his plans to visit Pyongyang next month, a plan that was reportedly agreed upon during North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s recent visit to Russia. China has maintained a relatively restrained stance on the recent exchanges between Moscow and Pyongyang, characterizing it as a matter between the two countries.
Beijing has refrained from responding to reports about Moscow’s invitation to North Korea to participate in a joint military exercise involving Russia and China. In response to President Xi’s congratulatory message on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of North Korea’s founding earlier in the month, Kim Jong-un reaffirmed his commitment to close cooperation with China, as reported by Pyongyang’s Korean Central News Agency.