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S. Korea, China Resume Joint Committee on Economic Cooperation after 2-yr Hiatus

According to Yonhap News,

(BEIJING=Yonhap News) While holding their first meeting on economic cooperation in two years on Friday, senior officials of South Korea and China reaffirmed their commitment to close bilateral cooperation on economic affairs.

At the 22nd joint South Korea-China economic committee meeting in Beijing, Vice Foreign Minister Cho Hyun, who represented the South Korean side, expressed optimism over deepening economic ties with China.

"I have high hopes for this meeting since it is being held at this critical time for the two countries recovering their bilateral ties," Cho noted in the opening.

The committee meeting was last held in Seoul in April 2016 and has since been put on hold due to China's protests over the deployment of the U.S. defense shield Terminal High Altitude Area Defense in the South.

The diplomatic rift badly damaged South Korea's economic dealings with China, its biggest trading partner, with previously popular South Korean products and entertainers boycotted in China.

Referring to his prior conversations with Vice Commerce Minister Gao Yan, who represented China at the committee meeting, Cho said he took note of China's willingness to continue its reform and open-door drive and to have close cooperation with South Korea.

Gao, in return, highlighted the important role of the joint committee and praised the agreement reached by the two countries' leaders late last year to bring back their close cooperative relations.

"I am feeling a heavy sense of duty to follow up on the two leaders' agreement and push for the development of the two countries' economies. Therefore (we) should produce actual progress so as to live up to the agreement and the expectations of the two leaders," she said.

"I expect (we) could lay a solid foundation for future economic cooperation through this candid exchanges and bring bilateral economic ties to the next level," she added.

The meeting, which was attended by commerce and economic officials from both countries, also sought to jointly assess the current state of the global economy and South Korea-China economic cooperation and to discuss other issues of mutual interest.

The vice ministerial committee meeting has been held regularly since 1993, a year after the neighbors formally established their diplomatic relationship.

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Source: Yonhap News (Apr. 20, 2018)

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