Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who is preparing to visit Japan next month, may visit South Korea to discuss Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Seoul, it has been reported.
“Minister Wang is coordinating schedule for his Japan visit,” Japan’s Kyoto News Agency reported Thursday, suggesting November as the most likely timing. Wang consulted with the South Korean government to visit Seoul as well when he planned to visit Tokyo in mid-October, but his visit to Seoul has been postponed due to delay in his visit to Tokyo. For this reason, watchers say the top Chinese envoy could seek to visit South Korea and Japan in succession again this time. “The schedule for (Minister Wang’s visit to South Korea) has not been confirmed yet, and his visits to Seoul and Tokyo will not be necessarily linked,” a foreign ministry official in Seoul said. “Seoul and Beijing are communicating about exchanges between high-level officials.”
“The South Korean government has left open the possibility of President Xi’s visit to Seoul within this year,” the foreign ministry official said. As such, if Minister Wang’s visit to Seoul gets confirmed, Seoul and Beijing will likely discuss about President Xi’s visit to Seoul as well. The Seoul government said, “China has reaffirmed that South Korea is a country that President Xi will visit as priority” right after Seo Hoon, director of the presidential National Security Office, met with Yang Jiechi, a Chinese Communist Party Politburo member and senior advisor to President Xi, when Yang visited Busan in August.
Gi-Jae Han firstname.lastname@example.org