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Li Keqiang promises greater communication

Dec 16,2017
President Moon Jae-in called for stepped-up efforts to quickly normalize Korea-China relations Friday, saying the country must move forward as they share the same future.

“China and Korea, historically and geographically, have shared the same destiny through peace and prosperity. I believe they are partners set by destiny that must continue to share peace and prosperity in the future,” Moon said in a meeting with Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang.

The Korean leader arrived here Wednesday for a four-day state visit. He earlier held a summit with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.

The Moon-Li meeting came only about a month after the two first met on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations forum, held in Manila, the Philippines last month.

“It took six months since I came into office before I first met you, prime minister, but this second meeting took place in just about a month,” Moon said, according to Blue House pool reports. “I hope the speed of the recovery and development in the Korea-China relationship will accelerate to the same level.”

Moon’s trip here followed months of a dispute over the deployment of a U.S. missile defense system in Korea.

Seoul and Beijing agreed to normalize their bilateral relationship in a joint statement.

Many, however, believe China has yet to completely let go of its grudge, at least until Moon’s trip here this week.

“I am confident the president’s visit will be an important opportunity for us to improve our relationship by paving a better way based on mutual respect and trust,” Xi told Moon in their bilateral summit here Thursday.

Li said the countries may soon reopen communication channels to discuss economic and trade issues.

“I am well aware that communication channels between economy and trade-related offices are currently suspended,” the Chinese prime minister told Moon, according to Moon’s chief press secretary Yoon Young-chan.

“The countries may restart communication channels and strengthen their dialogue in the future,” Li was quoted as saying.

Moon expressed hope his visit will mark the beginning of a new start for the two countries.

“I hope my visit to China will mark the first step in the countries’ move toward a new era of co-existence,” he said while meeting with Prime Minister Li.

“I wish to hold in-depth discussions today on ways to ensure future-oriented development of the Korea-China relationship that now stands at the starting line of a new 25 years,” he added.