Chinese ambassador to S.Korea expresses worries for possible deteriorating relations, saying responsibility doesn't lie with China
Published: May 26, 2023 01:13 PM
Photo: CFP

Photo: CFP

The current relationship between China and South Korea is not good with risk of further deterioration, and the reason or responsibility does not lie with China, Chinese Ambassador to South Korea Xing Haiming told South Korean media on Friday. 

Ambassador Xing made the remarks when receiving a live telephonic interview on talk show "Kim Jong-bae Focused" on MBC Radio, during which the Chinese ambassador answered questions on China-South Korea relations, bilateral economic relations, trade and people-to-people exchanges, and issues on Japan's plan of dumping Fukushima nuclear-contaminated water.

By stressing China and South Korea are not only permanent neighbors but also close cooperative partners who cannot be separated, Ambassador Xing noted that China has always attached great importance to China-South Korea relations and wholeheartedly wants to develop China-South Korea relations. 

"Frankly speaking, the current relationship between China and South Korea is not good, and there is a risk of further deterioration. I believe that Korean friends can also feel it. This is not what I want to see, and I am very worried about it. I don't think the reason or responsibility lies with China," said Ambassador Xing, according to a release from China's Embassy in South Korea. 

Whether it is a neighbor or a partner, the most important thing is to respect each other, especially to respect each other's major core interests. This is the basis for the sustained, healthy and stable development of China-South Korea relations, said Xing.

China-South Korea relations have suffered setbacks due to the Yoon government's one-sided diplomacy toward the US and Japan. Moreover, South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol recently attended the Group of Seven (G7) summit in Hiroshima as an observer while the G7 communiqué and other documents hyped the highly sensitive Taiwan question which triggered strong opposition from China. 

During the Friday interview, Ambassador Xing also noted that the G7 summit insisted on camp confrontation and the Cold War mentality, hyped up China-related issues, smeared and attacked China, and interfered in China's internal affairs. The Chinese side strongly opposes this, and has lodged stern representations with Japan, the host of the summit, by summoning the Japanese ambassador to China.

"We urge these countries to conform to the general trend of the times and do things that can truly maintain peace, stability, unity and development of the international community. We also hope that the South Korean side can understand and support China's position," said Xing. 

In response to some senior South Korean officials expressing anticipation to seek dialogues with China, Ambassador Xing said that China-South Korea relations are currently facing some difficulties, and exchanges between the two countries require both sides to meet each other halfway. 

"The South Korean side should fully attach importance to and respect China's core concerns on the Taiwan question and other aspects," said Xing. 

The host also asked Ambassador Xing When the Chinese and South Korean top leaders can have a face-to-face meeting. Xing noted that China attaches great importance to the exchanges between the heads of state of China and South Korea. Head-of-state diplomacy plays an irreplaceable role in steering the relationship between the two countries. 

However, the visit of the heads of state requires a good political atmosphere, and the two sides should work together to create favorable conditions for the meeting, said the ambassador. 

Global Times