Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Liu Jianchao, who is staying in Korea, said at a press conference on March 16 that China is hoping to see the Korean and U.S. governments make an appropriate decision on the deployment of THAAD in the Korean peninsula. The Korean Foreign Affairs Ministry, in the mean time, explained that THAAD was not an official agenda item of his meeting with Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Lee Kyung-soo, and that the decision is up to Korea.
The Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister also said that he asked again for Korea’s participation in the China-led Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). “The Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs answered that the Korean government would decide on the matter in view of the economic advantages and disadvantages of becoming a founding member of the AIIB,” he mentioned.
At present, the Korean government is considering accession to the AIIB to be inevitable from the economic perspective. However, the United States has been negative about Korea’s accession for such reasons as the lack of transparency of the governance structure. Korea has to sign an MOU if it is to become a founding member.
Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Liu Jianchao has been in charge of issues related to the Korean peninsula since July last year. This is the first time that he has visited Korea to discuss issues related to bilateral relations.