S Korea, China hold highest-level talks since Covid-19 outbreak
August 23 2020 12:42 AM
South Korea’s national security adviser Suh Hoon (left) and Yang Jiechi, a member of the Political B
South Korea’s national security adviser Suh Hoon (left) and Yang Jiechi, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China’s (CPC) Central Committee, leave a meeting room after their meeting at a hotel in Busan yesterday.

Reuters /Seoul

South Korea said yesterday it held talks with China’s top diplomat over trade, denuclearisation and the coronavirus response, in the first visit by a high-level Beijing official since the Covid-19 pandemic erupted late last year.
Yang Jiechi, a member of the Communist Party Politburo, met with South Korea’s new national security adviser, Suh Hoon, in the southern port city of Busan, the South Korean government said.
The two sides discussed topics such as accelerating free-trade agreement negotiations, expanding cultural exchanges as well as the election of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Director General, South Korea’s presidential Blue House spokesman Kang Min-seok said in a statement.
Kang added that Yang addressed China’s position regarding the current US-China relations and Suh in return emphasised the importance of co-operative US-China relations for peace and prosperity in Northeast Asia.
The talks come after the Covid-19 pandemic had undercut bilateral exchanges and stalled denuclearisation negotiations involving North Korea.
The two countries resumed exchanges last month when Seoul sent a high-level diplomat for a bilateral economic meeting.
Suh, who took up the top security job last month after serving as intelligence chief, also discussed a potential trip to Seoul by Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Kang said the two countries agreed to make Xi’s visit to South Korea happen promptly once the Covid-19 situation stabilised, adding that China called South Korea a priority for President Xi to visit.

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