China Wants Ties With South Korea Back on 'Normal Track'

Lotte Mart’s homepage in China

Lotte Mart’s homepage in China

Chinese President Xi Jinping said China was ready to work with South Korea to get bilateral ties back on track, Xinhua news agency reported Friday.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told a visiting South Korean envoy on Thursday that China hopes the new government in Seoul will correct the problems that have been encountered in their relations.

Mr Lee gave Mr Xi a hand-written letter from Mr Moon.

"From a year ago, the South Korea-China relationship suffered a setback which should not have happened, and this is an unwanted situation", Wang said at the meeting.

The Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-ballistic missile system positioned by the USA in South Korea has become a bone of contention between the two Asian countries.

Lee was dispatched by South Korea's newly elected president, Moon Jae-in, to China in an attempt to keep communications open between the two countries "at a critical time".

Lee also said Chinese officials were anxious THAAD would open the way for increased USA military buildup on the peninsula and that they were concerned a larger network of US missile defense would be subsequently deployed.

South Korea has complained that some of its companies doing business in China have faced discrimination in retaliation for the Thaad deployment.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who officially assumed office on May 10, has repeatedly criticized the previous government under impeached leader Park Geun-hye for agreeing to host the THAAD system without seeking parliamentary approval.

The North has vowed to develop a missile mounted with a nuclear warhead that can strike the mainland United States, saying the programme is necessary to counter USA aggression. The threat from Pyongyang presents U.S. President Donald Trump with one of his greatest security challenges.

Seoul and Washington have argued that the missile system is aimed at North Korean aggression, while China sees it as a threat to its own security.

There is another danger present with regards to the new administration - namely the United States and China.

The two leaders have provisionally agreed to hold talks as soon as possible, with the sidelines of a summit of Group of 20 major economies in Germany in July being earmarked as a possible opportunity for this to happen.