Published: Tue, November 14, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Korea and China to restore full relations after THAAD

Korea and China to restore full relations after THAAD

South Korea-China relations soured this year following China's protest against South Korea agreeing to deploy US -supplied THAAD missile defense system on its territory.

Arriving in Manila to attend a series of ASEAN-related summits, President Moon Jae-in's agenda isn't too different from his first two stops of the three-nation tour - expanding ties with the ASEAN region and rallying support for South Korea's policy against North Korea's nuclear program.

The tensions triggered by North Korea's missile tests were not mentioned during the opening statements of Duterte and Moon.

"We hope that South Korea will properly match its words with actions", Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a regular press conference on October 31, noting that South Korea had agreed not to make further deployments of the missile shield.

China on Saturday vowed to strengthen coordination with its neighbours in dealing with the North Korean issue, as US President Donald Trump complimented Beijing on helping to rein in Pyongyang. The deployment of Thaad has contributed to a 0.4 percentage point drop in South Korea's gross domestic product growth in 2017, according to Bank of Korea estimates, preventing it from growing at the fastest pace since 2011. Next year will mark the 40th anniversary of the peace and friendship treaty between Japan and China.

While ties between Japan and China have improved since a long-running territorial dispute flared in 2012, Abe hasn't succeeded in dispelling the chill.

The two heads of state agreed to normalise bilateral relations at the summit that took place on the sidelines of last weekend's Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit.

Experts pointed out that this remark was to urge the South Korean government to stick to what it suggested and it is in this context that the Chinese President refused to answer at the meeting to the request for participation in the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

Moon's talks with the Chinese premier will further highlight the improvement in South Korea-China relations, Seoul officials have said.

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