By Kim Seung-yeon
SEOUL, July 22 (Yonhap) — The ambassadors of the United States and China to South Korea met one-on-one Wednesday and discussed the two countries’ bilateral relations and other issues, embassy officials said.
The meeting between Ambassadors Harry Harris and Xing Haiming took place at the U.S. envoy’s residence in central Seoul earlier in the day, an embassy official said. The meeting lasted for about an hour.
Harris later tweeted about their meeting, along with a selfie they took together — with broad smiles.
“Good meeting with PRC Ambassador to ROK, H.E. Xing Haiming. We discussed the important USA-PRC relationship,” Harris wrote, referring to China and South Korea by the acronyms of the countries’ official names: the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of Korea.
It was their first one-on-one meeting since Xing took office in late January.
“Ambassador Harris commented afterward that he enjoyed the productive discussion with Ambassador Xing on a broad range of diplomatic issues,” a U.S. Embassy spokesperson said on the customary condition of anonymity.
According to a statement on the website of the Chinese Embassy in Seoul, Xing said the stable development of the Sino-U.S. relations not only serves the fundamental interests of China and the U.S. but is also the “common hope of the people of the world.”
Xing added that China has “no intention of replacing the U.S.” while voicing hope that the U.S. will respect China’s “core interests.”
Harris expressed Washington’s hope for the strengthening of cooperation with Beijing on the Korean Peninsula issue, the Chinese Embassy said.
A spokesperson from the Chinese Embassy said the meeting came as a courtesy call by Xing, who became the ambassador to South Korea early this year, and they discussed various issues, including topics of mutual concern.