[News Analysis] Presidents Moon and Xi restore bilateral ties by Da Nang summit : International : News : The Hankyoreh

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Posted on : Nov.13,2017 16:44 KST
Modified on : Nov.13,2017 16:44 KST





South Korean President Moon Jae-n and Chinese President Xi Jinping smile as they shake arms to open their summit on the Crown Plaza Hotel in Da Nang, Vietnam on Nov. 11. The two leaders had been in Vietnam to attend the APEC Summit. (Yonhap News)

THAAD deployment stays a possible impediment to future cooperation between the 2 nations

During his summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Nov. 11, South Korean President Moon Jae-in formally restored ties between the 2 nations. This represented a affirmation by the leaders of the 2 nations that they’re transferring to thaw ties which have been frozen since South Korea and the US started deliberating the deployment of the THAAD missile protection system in Feb. 2016.

This was Moon and Xi’s second summit, following a earlier badembly this previous July in Berlin, Germany, the place they had been attending the G20 summit. During a press briefing after the summit, Blue House spokesperson Park Soo-hyun not directly referred to the THAAD battle by saying that “Moon and Xi also candidly shared their opinions about differences of opinion between the two countries.”

The THAAD dispute was not fully resolved within the two leaders second summit (held at Da Nang, Vietnam, on the sideline of the APEC summit) both. On Nov. 12, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs reiterated the nation’s place on THAAD and mentioned that “both sides must adopt a stance that takes responsibility for history, for bilateral relations and for the people of both countries.”

But throughout their summit, Moon and Xi badertively expressed their dedication to enhancing bilateral relations. “The two leaders reviewed the statement released on Oct. 31 detailing a plan to improve bilateral relations and agreed to use this as the basis for quickly normalizing exchange and cooperation in all areas,” mentioned Senior Secretary to the President for Public Relations Yoon Young-chan throughout a press briefing after the badembly. Xi reportedly described this as a “new departure and a good beginning.”

“South Korea and China are both natural partners and close neighbors who cannot move away from each other,” Xi was quoted as saying by China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “I value relations with South Korea, and I want to work toward the healthy and stable development of our bilateral relations with South Korea.”

The issues mentioned in the course of the two leaders’ badembly might be summarized as follows: arranging a go to to China by Moon in December and a return go to by Xi, finishing up dialogue on the North Korean nuclear situation and discovering a peaceable resolution, and increasing change and strengthening strategic dialogue amongst officers of all ranks. The settlement about Moon’s go to to China in December leads some to foretell extra concrete blueprint about restoring and enhancing South Korea-China relations will emerge from the third summit between Moon and Xi that shall be held throughout that interval.

“The two leaders agreed that Moon will hold a summit with Xi when he visits China in December and that they will comprehensively discuss future-oriented development of their relations,” Yoon mentioned.

Admittedly, Moon and Xi’s summit seems to have executed not more than affirm official positions concerning the North Korean nuclear situation and a plan to strengthen strategic dialogue. Yoon reported that the 2 leaders had “agreed that [the North Korean nuclear issue] would ultimately be resolved peaceably through dialogue.”

China reported that Xi had confirmed his three rules of denuclearization, peace and stability, and an answer based mostly on dialogue and compromise. He additionally expressed his badist for “relaxing tensions on the Korean Peninsula, South Korea resuming dialogue and contact with the North, and working toward reconciliation and cooperation.” The solely factor that Yoon mentioned about South Korea and China’s strategic dialogue was that the 2 leaders had “agreed to strengthen it among officials of all ranks.”

When it involves the North Korean nuclear situation, the 2 leaders are prone to want a radical change of concepts about concrete options and a roadmap for getting there. That dialog might want to cowl China’s proposal of the “dual freeze” of North Korea’s nuclear and missile actions and South Korea and the US’s joint navy workouts and the “simultaneous pursuit” of denuclearization and a peace treaty and South Korea’s concept of facilitating negotiations by placing stress on North Korea.

As for strategic dialogue, South Korea and China agreed throughout a summit between Xi after which South Korean President Park Geun-hye in June 2013 to arrange a channel of high-level strategic dialogue between the Blue House National Security Chief and the member of China’s State Council in control of overseas affairs. But for the reason that first badembly in November of that 12 months, this channel has been largely inactive. These issues are anticipated to be additional clarified throughout Moon’s go to to China subsequent month. In response to Moon’s request for Xi to go to South Korea in the course of the Pyeongchang Olympics subsequent February, Xi mentioned that he would “try to visit South Korea,” however that if circumstances didn’t allow, he would ship a high-level delegation as an alternative. Xi successfully left open the potential of a return go to to Pyeongchang with out giving a particular reply.

Since the 2 leaders declared the restoration of bilateral relations throughout their summit, that is prone to imply the start of efforts to return the connection in a wide range of areas – together with politics, the economic system and cultural change – to the best way they had been earlier than China’s retribution for the THAAD deployment. But given the affirmation that THAAD stays a possible impediment for South Korea-China relations, it’s too quickly to foretell the longer term trajectory of their relations, which have been delivered to a turning level by the summit.

By Kim Oi-hyun, Beijing correspondent

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