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Wang Yi: Remove the Thorn Stuck in the Throat of China-ROK Relations

On May 22, 2017, in response to questions from the press in Abidjan, capital of Côte d’Ivoire, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that President Moon Jae-in of the Republic of Korea sent a heavyweight special envoy to China shortly after his election as the ROK President, which manifests that the ROK attaches importance to China and is willing to improve its relations with China. As we can see, there appears new change in the policy of new ROK administration toward China, showing a different attitude compared with the former administration. Firstly, instead of shunning issues that affects the healthy development of China-ROK relations, the new administration is willing to confront the issues. Secondly, the new administration understands China’s concerns of safeguarding its own righteous interests. Thirdly, the country is willing to actively seek ways to properly address the issue of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense missile defense system. As a traditional Chinese idiom says “In order to untie the bell, the person who tied it is required”, China hopes that the ROK could take the active interactions achieved during the special envoy’s visit to China, and take practical measures to remove the thorn stuck in the throat of China-ROK relations as soon as possible. The Chinese side is willing to keep communication with the ROK side to this end.

Wang Yi said, the sanction and the dialogue proposed by the new ROK administration are supposed to be promoted simultaneously, in a bid to address the Peninsula issue with peaceful measures. Considered to be rational and reasonable by the Chinese side, it is in line with the UN Security Council’s initiative as well. We have noticed that recently the US also expressed the willingness to conduct dialogue with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). The Peninsula situation remains unstable with a series of new changes. China urges the DPRK side to stop engaging in matters violating the UN Security Council Resolutions. At the same time, China hopes all countries could keep calm and without being affected by the individual issue happened occasionally, uphold the general direction of the denuclearization in the Peninsula, stick to well implementing the UN Security Council Resolution concerning the DPRK, and adhere to addressing the issue with dialogues and consultations via peaceful means.

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