Chinese President Xi Jinping mentioned the THAAD issue during his summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in in Da Nang, Vietnam, on November 11.
They also agreed to accelerate talks for an early implementation of a communication mechanism between their military forces, and to hold a trilateral summit with South Korea at the earliest possible date, Abe told reporters.
The leaders of South Korea and China on Saturday agreed on the need to manage the security situation on the Korean peninsula in a stable way and to resolve North Korea-related tensions peacefully after a summit meeting, the South's presidential office said. "The reports [in the Chinese media] confirm China's basic position".
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In a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he hoped China would continue implementing sanctions backed by the United Nations against North Korea.
Xi said China was willing to work with South Korea to improve bilateral ties, but called on Seoul to make responsible decisions about THAAD. According to this view, the comments were a signal from the Chinese government to related Chinese industries and officials - which were coming across translations of a significant number of reports from the South Korean press predicting an easing of tensions after the October 31 deliberations - that there had been no abrupt change in policy.
South Korea attaches importance to China's concern on the THAAD issue, and has no intention to harm China's interests of strategic security, he said.
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The upshot, according to the authors, is that "South Korea agreed to at least symbolically distance itself from a US-led strategy of containing China".
A flurry of missile tests from North Korea this year have raised the likelihood of South Korea using the US-built Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) anti-missile system - something China has vehemently opposed. "President Xi's reputation is on the line here", said Kim Jun-hyeong, a professor at Handong Global University.
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