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(LEAD) China will work together with S. Korea to pursue multilateralism: Chinese ambassador

All News 13:43 November 19, 2020

(ATTN: CHANGES photo; ADDS more info in last 3 paras)

SEOUL, Nov. 19 (Yonhap) -- China will work together with South Korea to pursue multilateralism, Beijing's top envoy here said Thursday, cautioning against a "zero-sum game" and "unilateralism" amid an intensifying Sino-U.S. rivalry.

Ambassador Xing Haiming made the remarks, as worries persist that multilateralism has been eroded by the great-power rivalry heightened amid U.S. President Donald Trump's tough stance on China and Beijing's growing assertiveness.

"History has proven and will continue to prove that the friendly relationship will prevail over the act of passing misfortune to others; mutually beneficial cooperation will definitely supersede the zero-sum game; and multilateralism will definitely win over unilateralism," Xing said in his welcoming remarks during the Korea China Friendship Forum.

"China, together with South Korea, will take world affairs as their duty and continue to support the pursuit of multilateralism, and will actively carry on international obligations and responsibilities," he added.

Chinese Ambassador to South Korea Xing Haiming speaks during the Korea China Friendship Forum in Seoul on Nov. 19, 2020. (Yonhap)

Xing cast the relationship between South Korea and China as "a very closely knit community of shared destiny."

His speech came as South Korea is working to map out its own strategy to steer clear of geopolitical tensions between Washington and Beijing, which are expected to continue under the incoming administration of U.S. President-elect Joe Biden.

In a departure from Trump's unorthodox foreign policy marked by his "America First" mantra, Biden has been advocating for the strengthening of multilateralism to strengthen America's global leadership and keep an assertive China in check.

During his speech, Xing also pointed out that China will continue to operate the "fast-track" program to ease entry restrictions for essential businesspeople traveling between the two countries.

Following last week's cancellation of two Samsung-chartered flights to the Chinese cities of Xian and Tianjin, speculation has arisen that Beijing could reconsider the fast-track system to fend off the inflow of COVID-19 cases from overseas.

"We will continue the fast-track program while also continuing our quarantine efforts," he said.

sshluck@yna.co.kr
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