No Prospect Yet of Moon Visiting China

  • By Jeong Woo-sang

    August 25, 2017 11:27

    Any visit by President Moon Jae-in to China this year seems increasingly unlikely amid an ongoing spat over the deployment of a Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense battery from the U.S. here.

    Since his inauguration in May, Moon has bolstered Korea's ties with the U.S., Japan and Russia, but relations with China remain chilly as the two countries mark 25 years of diplomatic ties.

    Moon met with U.S. President Donald Trump in Washington in June and visits Russia next month for a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin. He sat down with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Germany last month.

    There he also met Chinese President Xi Jinping, but they were unable to narrow their differences over THAAD and the North Korean nuclear standoff.

    A joint statement after the Washington summit criticized China's expansionist policies on the South China Sea, while a joint statement by South Korea, the U.S. and Japan stressed trilateral cooperation in security issues. Both are thorns in China's side.

    A key ruling party official said on Thursday, "We must explain to China why we have no choice but to temporarily deploy the THAAD battery in self-defense against the North Korean nuclear threat."

    The government apparently plans to propose a joint study to demonstrate that the powerful radar of the THAAD system is not intended to spy on China. It also hopes that China will make overtures after the 19th congress of the Communist Party in early November.

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