By Xu Aiying and Lee Hana
President Moon Jae-in and Chinese President Xi Jinping on Feb. 20 agreed in a phone conversation to strengthen bilateral cooperation to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, including sharing relevant clinical data from both nations.
"China's suffering is our suffering, and the Korean government will try its best to give assistance to its closest neighbor in these difficult times," President Moon said, adding that he believes in the power of the Chinese people to overcome this emergency together.
President Xi thanked the Korean government for its support and condolences, saying, "The two countries are cooperating as one to ride out the current adversity together as neighbors in times of need."
A spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry on the same day commented on Korea's appointment of Kang Seung-seok as the new consul general in Wuhan. He was formerly the chief of the Korean consular office in Dalian, China.
"Korea's decision to fill the vacant post at a crucial moment, when China is devoting all its strength to containing the COVID-19 outbreak, shows Seoul's active support for Beijing. This is also indicative of Korea's high regard for Seoul-Beijing relations," the ministry said.
News of Kang's appointment made headlines in major Chinese news outlets like Xinhua News Agency and Sinanet.