Finance minister to raise China’s THAAD backlash in talks

BEIJING, :Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon said Thursday he will raise the issue of difficulties facing South Korean firms doing businesses in China, which have been attributed to Beijing's actions against Seoul's deployment of an advance U.S. missile-defense system, during talks with his Chinese counterpart.

Kim said he will seek China's cooperation to resolve the issue during talks with He Lifeng, chairman of China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), later this week.

Kim made the remarks during a meeting in Beijing with senior executives of South Korean firms, including Samsung Electronics, Hyundai Motor and CJ.

South Korean firms in China have been under pressure over China's retaliation to Seoul's decision in 2016 to host the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery.

Last October, South Korea and China agreed to move past the dispute over the THAAD system, but the dispute is still taking a toll on South Korea.

"I will deliver the difficulties of our companies to the Chinese government and ask for cooperation," Kim said at the meeting.

South Korea decided to host the U.S. missile defense system to better cope with growing North Korean nuclear and missile threats.

Arguing that the U.S. missile defense system could also target China, Beijing has taken a variety of retaliatory steps against Seoul, including a ban on group tours to South Korea.

Friday's meeting between Kim and He will mark the resumption of talks between top economic policymakers of the two nations, which have been halted for about two years due to the THAAD dispute.

During a separate meeting with South Korean correspondents in Beijing, Kim said he will seek to rebuild trust with the Chinese side.

The two sides will discuss an array of issues, including further boosting economic cooperation, Kim said.

They will also seek ways to flesh out the outcome of December summit talks between President Moon Jae-in and Chinese President Xi Jinping, Kim said.

Later Thursday, Kim gave a lecture to NDRC officials on South Korea's policy of income-led growth and innovation.

Kim told the officials that closer cooperation between South Korea and China is essential to cope with rate hikes in advanced economies and protectionist moves by the Trump administration.

South Korea and China should step up cooperation for peace and stability in Northeast Asia, Kim said, according to the finance ministry.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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