China hopes Seoul will keep up the positive momentum in the Korean Peninsula and work for progress in peace talks, in which Beijing will continue to play a constructive role, Vice-Premier Liu Yandong said on Feb 26.
Liu, who attended closing ceremony of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics on Feb 25 as President Xi Jinping’s special envoy, made the remark when meeting Republic of Korea President Moon Jae-in in Seoul.
By taking the opportunity that was presented by the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics to resume talks, Seoul and Pyongyang have demonstrated the common aspiration of people on the peninsula for peace, Liu said.
China is committed to solving the peninsula issue peacefully through dialogue and consultation, and hopes the ROK will be confident in its resolve, overcome distractions, keep promoting ties with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and maintain the reduction of tension, the vice-premier said.
Direct talks between Pyongyang and Washington also are “indispensable” for a true resolution to the peninsula’s nuclear issue as well as a fundamental easing of the situation in the peninsula, Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said on Feb 26.
Lu called for the two sides to make positive moves in this regard.
Lu, welcoming and encouraging the progress Pyongyang and Seoul have made in conducting talks and improving ties, said the core of the issue is about security, to which Pyongyang and Washington hold the key.
2022 Games, IOC chief
In another development, Liu met Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee, in Pyeongchang on Feb 25.
Liu told Bach the success of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics shows the power of sports in maintaining peace. She said the Chinese government considers the 2022 Winter Olympics to be highly important, adding that the preparation is progressing smoothly.
China will keep its promises, uphold the idea of hosting an Olympics that is green, shared, open and clean, and make the Beijing Winter Olympics one that is splendid, extraordinary and brilliant, Liu said.
Bach expressed appreciation for China’s support for the IOC’s work and the Pyeongchang Games, and said he thinks the Beijing Winter Olympics will become an excellent example, like the Summer Olympics held in the Chinese capital in 2008.