China's top diplomat Wang Yi met with Ban Ki-moon, South Korean diplomat who used to serve as the 8th secretary-general of the UN, on Monday in Beijing, saying that China hopes South Korea will work together with China to overcome temporary difficulties and revive the bilateral exchanges.
Over the 30 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and South Korea, the bilateral relationship has traversed an extraordinary path and achieved unprecedented results, which are worth cherishing and preserving by both sides, said Wang, director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee.
The relationship between China and South Korea should move forward based on this foundation, rather than stagnating or regressing, the Chinese official said, noting China's policy toward South Korea has not changed.
"We hope that South Korea will work together with China to overcome temporary difficulties, revitalize exchanges and cooperation, and demonstrate the broad prospects for the development of bilateral relations," he said.
Wang met Ban on the sidelines of the first high-level conference of the Forum on Global Action for Shared Development, which opened on Monday, with four panels included to discuss how countries can work together and better reach the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
Ban said he is grateful for the strong support China has provided during his tenure as secretary-general of the UN and chairman of the Boao Forum for Asia.
The South Korean diplomat said he also appreciates the series of important global initiatives put forth by China, which have injected strong momentum into the consolidation of global efforts. As closely connected neighbors, South Korea and China must live in friendship, Ban said, noting that he will continue to strive for the development of the relationship between South Korea and China.
The South Korea-China relations have been facing growing difficulties recently as the US has ramped up efforts to mobilize its allies in the Asia-Pacific region to form a containment ring against China, which also pushed South Korea to take sides and fall into the US' strategic trap to contain China, some experts said.
In a recent trilateral cooperation forum between China, South Korea and Japan, Wang said Europeans and Americans can't distinguish between Chinese, Japanese and South Koreans.
"No matter how yellow our hair is dyed or how sharp we change our nose, we can't become Westerners. We should know where our roots are," he told the main group of guests, stressing cooperation between the three countries can revitalize Asia and benefit the world.
Wang and Ban also exchanged views on issues of common concern such as the situation on the Korean Peninsula.