President Moon Jae-in, who is visiting China to attend the 8th Korea-Japan-China summit in Chengdu, held a summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing at 11:30 a.m. today (local time). The summit was followed by a luncheon. The two presidents had in-depth discussions on issues of mutual interest, including how to promote bilateral exchanges and cooperation as well as how to work together to achieve denuclearization and settle peace on the Korean Peninsula.
The Korea-China summit today is the sixth such talks between the two heads of state and comes six months after one on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan, on June 27.
At this summit, which became a closed-door meeting following their opening remarks, President Xi said that it was his sincere belief that if Korea and China would join hands, the two countries could make considerable accomplishments. He went on to give high marks to bilateral relations deepening further and advancing through close communication.
President Xi noted that the two countries’ common positions, especially in regard to issues concerning the Peninsula, have been strengthened since President Moon took office and that mutual understanding has been further enhanced. The Chinese President went on to say that the shared positions concerning the denuclearization of the Peninsula constitute a strong foundation for bilateral cooperation.
With regard to the recent stalemate in the Korean Peninsula peace process, President Xi said that many people are concerned about the tension on the Peninsula. The President also noted that China and South Korea should join forces to help North Korea and the United States maintain the momentum for dialogue, expressing his consistent support for peace on the Korean Peninsula.
President Moon also stressed, “What’s more important than anything else is to help keep the momentum for North Korea-U.S. talks alive.”
Regarding the U.S.-China trade dispute, President Xi said that cooperation benefits everyone while fighting leaves every party wounded. The President added that China aims to avoid conflict and deal with the issue in a flexible manner.
In response, President Moon said, “I hope that China and the United States will be able to reach a satisfactory solution through constructive dialogue,” welcoming the recent “phase one” trade deal between the two countries.
President Moon expressed the hope that bilateral sports exchanges would accelerate on the occasions of the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing and 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou. President Xi replied by asking for broadening the scope of bilateral exchanges at the Winter Olympics, noting that China has been handed the Olympic flag from Korea, following the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics.
Speaking about cooperation on environmental issues, including fine dust, the two leaders agreed that environmental problems are directly related to the health and quality of life of both countries’ citizens. They emphasized the importance of substantive cooperation which would bring tangible benefits to the peoples of the two nations through close bilateral collaboration.
President Moon praised the hosting of the trilateral Korea-Japan-China summit for the second straight year. He said, “Conducting these meetings regularly is important. The summit is scheduled to take place in Korea next year, and we will work hard to ensure that it stays on track. The trilateral summit will greatly aid the common prosperity of Northeast Asia.”
The President asked President Xi to visit Korea as soon as time allows. The Chinese President responded by expressing his appreciation for the invitation, adding that the matter would be carefully considered in a positive light. President Moon proposed that they work closely together to ensure that a visit by President Xi would serve as a catalyst for deepening the strategic cooperative partnership between the two countries and establishing opportunities for greater bilateral exchanges and cooperation.
Today’s summit between President Moon and President Xi was originally scheduled to last for 30 minutes but continued for 55 minutes. During the working luncheon that followed, candid discussions were held on a vast array of topics, ranging from the two countries’ cultures to peace on the Korean Peninsula.