Chinese President Xi Jinping encouraged his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-in to resume dialogue with North Korea, state news agency Xinhua reports.
At the meeting, the two countries agreed to deepen their cooperation on North Korea and to hold a trilateral summit with South Korea at the earliest possible date.
South Korea's foreign minister is expected to visit China soon to fine-tune preparations for the upcoming summit between their leaders, a government source said Monday. "Watching your emphasis on achieving xiaokang society, where all the people enjoy comfort and prosperity, I was able to feel the spirit of a leader who deeply thinks about the people", Moon said.
Remarks by Xi reflect ongoing Chinese concern over the missile defense systemChina's decision to raise the THAAD deployment during the South Korea-China summit puts the spotlight back on an issue assumed to have been settled during deliberations on October 31.
"The two leaders praised the Seoul-Beijing agreement of October 31. and put bilateral exchanges and cooperation on the normal track in all areas", said presidential spokesman Yoon Young-chan.
Xi said China was willing to work with South Korea to improve bilateral ties, but called on Seoul to make responsible decisions about THAAD. A Cheong Wa Dae official said, "President Moon said that THAAD is not aimed at China".
Lian Degui, a professor with the School of Japanese Studies at Shanghai International Studies University, said Trump's visits to China, Japan and South Korea sent a signal that the USA needed cooperation among the three countries to tackle the North Korean nuclear issue. "Since China has not retracted its official position that THAAD damages its strategic interests, the THAAD issue continues to simmer and could still boil over under the right circumstances", said Lee Hui-ok, director of the Sungkyun Institute of China Studies.
Also on Saturday, the US and South Korea launched a joint naval drill in a show of strength against the North's leader Kim Jong-un.
Trump held talks with Xi on Thursday, which led to the signing of business deals worth more than US$253 billion.