China and the Republic of Korea have wide common interests in pursuing regional peace, development and stability at a time in which both Sino-ROK relations and the Korean Peninsula situation are at crucial period, President Xi Jinping said on Saturday.[Special coverage]
Both countries' leaders have expressed the willingness to promote the healthy development of bilateral ties, which had been dealt a blow by the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense anti-missile system.
Xi made the remark while meeting with his ROK counterpart Moon Jae-in on the sidelines of the APEC Economic Leaders' Week in Da Nang, Vietnam.
Xi reiterated China's stance on the THAAD issue, saying that both sides should make decisions in a way that would be responsible to history, the bilateral ties and the people of both countries.
The two countries should respect each other's core interests and major concerns, keep political mutual trust, and enhance communication, Xi said.
Noting that the bilateral ties are currently going through a critical period, Xi said he believed the meeting would play an important role in the development of their relations and cooperation on the Korean Peninsula issue.
China is dedicated to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, safeguarding the peninsula's peace and stability, and resolving problems through dialogue and consultation, Xi said.
China encourages the ROK to resume contact and dialogue with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and restore conciliation and cooperation, Xi said, adding that China is willing to stay in close contact with the ROK to maintain stability and avoid war on the peninsula.
Mentioning his meeting with Moon in Germany in July, Xi said that the two sides have exchanged views on many issues of joint concern and reached many important consensuses.
Xi expressed gratitude to Moon for his congratulatory message on the success of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China and Xi's re-election as general secretary of the CPC Central Committee.
The CPC's 19th National Congress made the blueprint for China's economic and social reform for the following decades, and this will inject a powerful impetus to China's development and bring opportunities for cooperation with the international community, including the ROK, Xi said.
Moon said that the ROK pays attention to China's concerns over the THAAD issue, and Seoul has no intention of undermining Beijing's strategic security interests.
The ROK president said he appreciated China's positive role in the Korean Peninsula issue and that Seoul is willing to enhance communication with Beijing to resolve the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue in a peaceful manner.
Moon acknowledged that China-ROK relations have experienced temporary difficulties, and he said it's right time for both sides to improve bilateral ties.
Moon said he is glad that the two countries have agreed to restore bilateral ties to their normal track.
Moon congratulated Xi again on his re-election and the success of the Party's 19th National Congress.
He spoke highly of Xi's efforts in leading China toward its goal of building a moderately well-off society, saying it demonstrates Xi's wish to serve the people.
The ROK supports and would like to participate in the Belt and Road Initiative, Moon said.
"The ROK should keep its commitment to not increase its THAAD deployment as the issue is the key factor in Sino-ROK relations," said Jin Yong, deputy head of the School of International Studies at the Communication University of China.
As China strives to achieve its two centenary goals, it needs a peaceful environment, Jin said, adding that the two countries have a common interest in maintaining peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula.