By Song Sang-ho
SEOUL, Nov. 26 (Yonhap) -- Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha and her Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, are set to hold talks in Seoul Thursday, amid expectations that Beijing's top diplomat would seek to cement ties between the two countries ahead of a leadership change in the United States.
Wang's trip here after his visit to Japan came as U.S. President-elect Joe Biden envisions tightening America's alliance networks to reassert its leadership amid a heightened Sino-U.S. rivalry.
Kang and Wang are scheduled to meet at 10 a.m. to discuss bilateral high-level exchanges, the situations on the Korean Peninsula and in the region, pending global issues and other matters of mutual concern, the foreign ministry said.
Their agenda is expected to include the countries' efforts to arrange a visit to South Korea by Chinese President Xi Jinping and Seoul's push to host a trilateral summit among the leaders of South Korea, China and Japan before the end of this year.
Chinese officials have said that Xi's trip to Seoul will come when the COVID-19 pandemic levels off, but a third wave of the virus outbreak has darkened the prospects of Xi making an early trip here.
Kang and Wang could also exchange views on North Korea-related issues, economic cooperation and joint efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
After a luncheon with Kang, Wang is scheduled to pay a courtesy call on President Moon Jae-in at the presidential office, Cheong Wa Dae.
Wang is also expected to meet other government and ruling party officials, including former Democratic Party chief Lee Hae-chan, presidential security adviser Moon Chung-in and Rep. Song Young-gil, chairman of the National Assembly's foreign affairs committee.
Wang last visited Seoul in December last year.
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