Envoy urges resumption of economic and trade cooperation between China and S. Korea

17, Apr. 2020

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SEOUL, AJU - Beijing and Seoul should restore and develop economic and trade cooperation, China's top envoy in South Korea said, showing confidence in the rapid recovery of China's economy from the impact of a novel coronavirus epidemic.

"We must never close the gate between China and South Korea," Chinese Ambassador Xing Haiming said in an interview with Aju Business Daily, adding the two countries are working to ensure the vital traffic of citizens through the mutual recognition of virus test certificates and other measures.

China and South Korea, which play an important role in economic cooperation as well as industrial and supply chains in Asia, should make greater contributions to leading stable development around the world, Xing said.

Beijing is helping South Korean companies based in China to resume production and operations at an early date, the envoy said. "We are trying to maintain industrial and supply chains between China and South Korea at a special time so that working-level cooperation can be stable and lasting for a long time."

The impact of COVID-19 on China's economy is temporary, Xing said, citing China's strong economic fundamentals and brisk demand for consumption. "I am confident that if the Chinese people cooperate with one mind, they will overcome difficulties and achieve a double victory (economic development and the termination of an epidemic)."

China was able to achieve a significant outcome in putting the epidemic under control thanks to firm leadership, people's unity, strong comprehensive national power and active cooperation with the international community, the envoy said.

Working together, China and South Korea will be able to overcome difficult times and win their war against infectious diseases as soon as possible, Xing said. "Quarantine work in China and South Korea can be seen as a successful case," he said, urging the two countries to cooperate in protecting the achievements of their response to infectious diseases and share their know-how with the world.

China has been active and open to international cooperation, Xing said, dismissing some critical views that Beijing's response to COVID-19 was insufficient. "It doesn't make sense," he said, insisting China has played a leading role to contain the epidemic, notifying the World Health Organization and disclosing genetic information to other countries.

Chinese President Xi Jinping will keep his pledge to visit South Korea, with the specific timing and schedule of his trip to be decided through diplomatic consultations, Xing said.