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Chinese foreign minister heads to South Korea for high-level dialogue


Chinese foreign minister heads to South Korea for high-level dialogue

wang yi south korea
Photo: CGTN

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi touches down in Seoul today for a two-day visit at the invitation of South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha. Wang will also meet with President Moon Jae-in.

Tensions between the two states rose sharply when South Korea agreed to install a US anti-missile system—the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD)—on its soil, angering China, which views THAAD as a means for the US to spy on Chinese military affairs. Beijing retaliated by restricting economic ties with Seoul. This greatly impacted South Korea’s economic prospects, as China is its largest trading partner.

Since then, the icy relations have thawed somewhat, and this week’s meetings will serve as a barometre for future negotiations. Wang’s visit will likely see Kang request the normalisation of relations through the cancellation of Beijing’s trade restrictions imposed over the THAAD issue. However, it is probable that Wang’s visit represents only a first step toward this goal, given Beijing’s unresolved grievances regarding THAAD.

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