China urges South Korea to honour pledges on Thaad deployment

China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi (right) meets South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung Wha at Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing on Nov 22, 2017.
China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi (right) meets South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung Wha at Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing on Nov 22, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING (CHINA DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has used the Chinese saying "commitments must be honoured" in urging Seoul to make sustained efforts to tackle the issue of deployment of a US anti-missile system in the Republic of Korea.

Mr Wang made the comment when meeting with his South Korean counterpart Kang Kyung Wha in Beijing on Wednesday (Nov 22) amid public focus on progress in handling the US Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (Thaad) system, which has X-band radar capable of covering part of China.

China attaches great importance to Seoul's recent pledges, including that it will not join a US-led anti-missile network, it will allow no additional deployments of Thaad, and it has no intention to damage China's security interests, according to Mr Wang.

Ms Kang is making her first China visit after taking office in June, shortly after the two sides arrived at a consensus on some points in tackling Thaad, according to a joint statement on Oct 31.

Ms Kang told Mr Wang on Wednesday that Seoul greatly cherishes the joint statement, and it is working to repair the two nations' ties at an early date.

President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang met with South Korean President Moon Jae In earlier this month on the sidelines of international meetings.

Mr Wang said both countries should boost mutual understanding, minimise their differences and create conditions for fully restoring the development of their relations.

The two sides should take the 25th anniversary of the bilateral ties' establishment as well as future high-level exchanges as opportunities to sum up lessons and do strategic planning for the future development of ties, Mr Wang said.

Ms Kang said South Korea is ready to act on the joint release and the latest consensus of the leaders, further boost high-level interactions, and promote cultural and people-to-people exchanges.

Dr Ruan Zongze, vice-president of the China Institute of International Studies, said Seoul should seriously turn its latest pledges regarding Thaad into actions so as to boost two-way efforts in repairing the ties that plummeted for more than a year and to seek further improvement.

Also on Wednesday, the two ministers talked about the Korean Peninsula situation.

China and South Korea have common interests in achieving denuclearisation of the peninsula through dialogue and consultation and in maintaining the peninsula's peace and stability, Mr Wang said.

Both sides should continue to strengthen strategic communication and make active efforts to that end, Mr Wang added.

Ms Kang said pressuring Pyongyang and imposing sanctions are not the ultimate goal, and all parties should work together to resolve the North Korean nuclear issue through dialogue and negotiation.