Yang’s visit shows China-S.Korea ties under pandemic could be model for others: observer
Published: Aug 22, 2020 10:14 PM

China South Korea File photo:CGTN

China and South Korea pledged Saturday to further develop bilateral relations and uphold multilateralism and free trade during a meeting of senior officials from the two countries, with Chinese observers praising that China-South Korea ties during the pandemic could serve as a model for other countries.

The pledge was made at a meeting between Yang Jiechi, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, and Suh Hoon, South Korea's top national security advisor, during Yang's visit to South Korea, the Xinhua News Agency reported Saturday. 

Yang, also director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the CPC Central Committee, spoke highly of the achievements made in the development of China-South Korea relations, saying the two countries have enjoyed good momentum in developing bilateral ties under the strategic guide of the leaders of both countries.

The two countries have joined hands in fighting COVID-19 to effectively bring the epidemic under control and made solid progress in cooperation in various areas, becoming role models on the international stage.

Yang said that China is willing to work together with South Korea to strengthen high-level exchanges and strategic communication, promote docking of development strategies, explore and cultivate new growth areas in bilateral cooperation and boost economic, trade and cultural exchanges so as to elevate the China-South Korea strategic cooperative partnership to a new level.

South Korea has been suffering from a severe outbreak of COVID-19 cases recently. On Saturday, 332 new cases were reported across the country. Its government announced to launch a Level II response to virus prevention starting.

"Yang's visit, amid the risky nature of the COVID-19 epidemic, shows that China values highly our neighbor South Korea and the bilateral ties we have with it, seeking to further deepen our exchanges," said Da Zhigang, director and research fellow of the Institute of Northeast Asian Studies at the Heilongjiang Provincial Academy of Social Sciences and chief expert at the Northeast Asian Strategic Studies Institute.

Yang Jiechi File photo:CGTN

The visit not only paves way for higher level exchange visits in the future, but also shows that China appreciates South Korea's objective attitude on issues related to China - Seoul has not chosen a side, unlike what Japan has done, as it has the big picture of friendship in mind and understands the geographic proximity between the two countries, Da told the Global Times on Saturday.

Da said that the visit also shows the two countries place great hope on deepening cooperation in the post-pandemic era, during which the developments of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, Belt and Road initiative, trade, investments and even digital economy all need a stable environment.

The beneficial mode between China and South Korea to deepen political trust and economic cooperation during and after the pandemic, could serve as a model to be promoted to other regional countries or Belt and Road countries, Da said.

Yang noted that China advocates for the establishment of a new type of international relations featuring mutual respect, fairness, justice, and win-win cooperation. 

Yang said China supports South Korea in playing its role as chair of China-Japan-South Korea cooperation and advancing regional economic integration. China also supports improving relations within the Korean Peninsula and promoting reconciliation and cooperation, and is ready to work with relevant parties to play a constructive role in the political settlement of the Korean Peninsula issue, he added.

The Chinese side also elaborated its principles and stance on China-US relations.

Da noted that the US has been smearing China on several issues such as Hong Kong, Xinjiang and the origin of the virus. But South Korea, though being pressured by the US, chose to be objective and keep its friendship with China, Da said, noting that in the future, South Korea could serve to build communication between China and the US and ease tensions.

He added that since the situation on the Korean Peninsula has worsened in recent months, South Korea would also need to have beneficial ties with China to form positive support for the peninsula and northeastern Asia.

Suh Hoon, for his part, said South Korea attaches great importance to developing relations with China. He said South Korea looks forward to having closer high-level exchanges with China, comprehensively deepening communication and cooperation in a full range of areas, and jointly building lasting peace on the peninsula, Xinhua reported.

The Yonhap News Agency reported that the South Korean side during the meeting with Yang invited China's top leader to visit South Korea when the epidemic is brought under control.

Suh said South Korea will actively advance the agenda of China-Japan-South Korea cooperation, uphold multilateralism in international affairs, and make new contributions to international cooperation in fighting the COVID-19 epidemic.

Yang Jiechi kicked off his visit to two countries in Asia on Wednesday. Before going to South Korea, he visited Singapore.