Xi Jinping Extends His Congratulations To Moon Jae In

Jake Joo, May 11, 2017, 10:36 a.m.

Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory message to new President Moon Jae-in on Wednesday and called message for an improvement in bilateral relations, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported. Ties have been strained over Seoul's decision to let the U.S. station a Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense battery here and an unofficial Chinese boycott in retaliation.

Xi said the two countries have been "important neighbors" since they established diplomatic ties 25 years ago, adding, "I would like to work with you to ensure the development of Sino-South Korean ties better benefits the two countries and peoples."

Chinese media reported Moon's inaugural address as breaking news, quoting him as saying he wants to consult with the U.S. and China about the THAAD issue.

"Sour economic relations between China and South Korea are in neither country's interest and would more worryingly put the prosperity of the global economy at risk, as both countries are integral to a stable global economy," the official Global Times wrote. "In a sign that the situation might change for the better, Moon has criticized THAAD in the run up to the election."

The daily said the key to solving problems in relations lies in Moon's hands.

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