December 03, 2019 13:53
China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi is expected to bring a message when he visits Seoul on Wednesday and Thursday warning Korea not to allow the U.S. to deploy mid-range missiles here.
A diplomatic source on Monday said Chinese Ambassador Qiu Guohong "has warned lawmakers of the potential consequences of deploying U.S. weapons here. Those comments were a precursor to Wang's visit."
The source added China's diplomatic and trade pressure will mount after the visit.
Wang is to meet President Moon Jae-in and Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha to discuss a visit to Seoul by Chinese President Xi Jinping. But he is also expected to touch on contentious subjects like the mid-range U.S .missiles, the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense battery the U.S. has already partially deployed here, and the U.S.-led trade war against Huawei.
Liu Jiayi, the secretary of the Shandong Provincial Committee of the Communist Party, who is visiting Seoul ahead of Wang, met with Kang on Monday and stressed the need to mend frayed diplomatic ties triggered by the THAAD deployment.
Meanwhile, the U.S. is expected to keep leaning on Seoul to agree to an exorbitant hike in its cost share for maintaining 28,500 American troops here. The two sides start their next round of defense cost-sharing talks in Washington on Tuesday after the last round collapsed.
The U.S. is also pushing Seoul to deploy troops to the Gulf. Japan, meanwhile, is scheduled to hold a Cabinet meeting around the middle of this month to decide whether to deploy naval ships to the Straits of Hormuz to support the U.S.' military adventures there.
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