Chinese top legislator meets counterpart in South Korea, seeks better ties

Seoul, Sep 16 (EFE).- Li Zanshu, the chairman of the standing committee of China’s National People’s Congress, on Friday met the speaker of South Korea’s national assembly Kim Jin-pyo in Seoul, with the two leaders pledging to boost interparliamentary cooperation to resolve the North Korean issue and establish peace in the peninsula.

“We agreed it is important to sustain strategic communications between South Korea and China for the stable management of the situation on the Korean Peninsula and to resolve North Korea’s nuclear issue,” Kim said in a joint press briefing after the meeting.

On his part, Li said that the two countries, which are celebrating the 30th year of diplomatic ties, should work in the interests of multilateralism and regional trade, and solve “sensitive” bilateral issues through dialog and mutual respect, according to local news agency Yonhap.

Li has been invited on a three-day visit South Korea by Kim at a time when all eyes are on how the newly elected government of President Yoon Suk-yeol manages relations with China, their powerful neighbor and biggest trade partner.

Later on Friday, Yoon met the Chinese top legislator and invited Chinese President Xi Jinping to visit South Korea, stressing that such a visit would open a “new chapter” in bilateral ties, according to a statement by the presidential office.

According to the statement, Li said he would convey the message to Xi, while also extending an invitation to Yoon to visit China at the earliest.

Yoon, who assumed office in May, had insisted that he would seek “equal ties” with China in contrast with the previous liberal regime, criticized as servile after Beijing imposed sanctions against South Korean interests due to Seoul installing an American anti-missile system on its territory.

However, the Yoon administration’s response to the ongoing visit of the third most powerful Chinese leader – equivalent to a parliamentary speaker – is being criticized due to its contrast with the recent visit of Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the United States’ house of representatives.

Unlike Li, Pelosi was not received at the airport by any government official and did not get to meet Yoon, as the latter was on a holiday, which led to speculation that Seoul did not want to raise heckles in Beijing, just after the US leader had carried out a controversial visit to Taiwan.


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