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Moon meets with Chinese VP on last day in office

Diplomacy 18:57 May 09, 2022

SEOUL, May 9 (Yonhap) -- Outgoing President Moon Jae-in on Monday met with Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan in his last official schedule in office and discussed ways to develop bilateral relations.

Wang, known as one of the closest aides to Chinese President Xi Jinping, paid a courtesy call on Moon after arriving in Seoul leading his country's delegation to attend the inauguration ceremony of incoming President Yoon Suk-yeol on Tuesday.

"Even comparing with past inauguration ceremonies of South Korean presidents, China has sent a top-level delegation this time," Moon said. "It shows Xi and the Chinese government's determination on the South Korea-China relationship."

Moon said the two countries should expand human and cultural exchanges, as he rated high on advancements in their cultural content exchanges last year, including the resumption of screening Korean movies in China.

In response, Wang said Xi considers his exchanges, working relationship and friendship with Moon very important, and that China and South Korea are "important neighbors and long-time friends."

President Moon Jae-in (R) talks with Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan at the presidential office in Seoul on May 9, 2022, in this photo provided by Cheong Wa Dae. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

During their talks, Moon also thanked China for supporting South Korea's efforts to bring peace to the Korean Peninsula. Wang said China highly evaluates Moon's contributions to improve inter-Korean relations and China will also concentrate for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

Wang also invited Moon and his wife to China, saying they are welcome to visit the country anytime, for which Moon expressed his gratitude.

Before his meeting with Wang, Moon met with Singaporean President Halimah Yacob, who is also in Seoul for Yoon's inauguration ceremony.

Moon expressed his hope of expanding trade and investment between the two countries through the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), a mega free trade agreement involving 11 Asia-Pacific nations that South Korea is seeking to join.

He also asked for Singapore's continuous attention and support on North Korean issues.

Halimah stressed the need for close cooperation between South Korea and Singapore, also noting the region's peace is also an important matter to Singapore as well.

President Moon Jae-in (L) and Singaporean President Halimah Yacob (R) walk at the presidential office in Seoul on May 9, 2022, in this photo released by Cheong Wa Dae. Wang visited Seoul to attend the inaugural ceremony of President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol to be held the following day. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

kdon@yna.co.kr
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