Vice-President Wang Qishan, as the special representative of President Xi Jinping, will lead a delegation to the Republic of Korea to attend the inauguration ceremony of Yoon Suk-yeol, the ROK president-elect, Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said on Friday.
The ceremony, to be held in Seoul on Tuesday, will also be attended by other high-level guests including Singaporean President Halimah Yacob and former Japanese prime minister Yukio Hatoyama.
Speaking at a regular news briefing in Beijing, Zhao said that the two sides are in consultation on the specific arrangement of Wang's trip, which came at the invitation of the ROK government.
"China and the ROK are and will remain close neighbors and important cooperation partners," he said.
The spokesman said that China wishes the ROK a prosperous future in all endeavors and hopes to bring their bilateral friendly cooperation to a higher level.
"We believe that with the concerted efforts of both sides, the China-ROK relationship will keep pace with the times and see further development in the future," Zhao said.
Wang will be the highest-ranking Chinese official ever to attend an ROK presidential inauguration. He will also be the highest-ranking Chinese official to pay a visit abroad since the initial outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Wang Junsheng, a researcher of East Asian studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the vice-president's attendance at the inauguration ceremony makes it crystal clear that China highly values developing its relations with the ROK.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the ROK and the two countries have made great advances in such areas as politics, economics and people-to-people exchanges over the past decades, the researcher said.
"Despite some problems that remain to be solved, China has always considered the China-ROK relationship from an overall and strategic perspective and has consistently advanced the good momentum of developing bilateral ties," he said.