Amid mounting anticipation over a possible visit to South Korea by Chinese President Xi Jinping, Beijing's top diplomat says that the matter will continue to be discussed further through relevant channels.
China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi made the remarks when asked about the potential trip, following talks with his South Korean counterpart Kang Kyung-wha in Seoul on Wednesday.
The Chinese leader hasn't been to South Korea since 2014, so his visit, if it happens, would reciprocate President Moon Jae-in's trip to Beijing in 2017.
"We are neighbors and we will boost high-level exchanges. We will continue to negotiate the matter through channels."
Wang is on a two day-visit to South Korea.
His trip has drawn particular significance as it marks his first time in Seoul since bilateral ties soured over South Korea's decision to deploy the U.S. missile defense system THAAD in 2016.
According to Seoul's foreign ministry the two sides shared the view that their ties must be restored fully, and that they have a common understanding to hold a joint vice-ministerial panel on people-to-people exchanges in the near future given that economic ties were hurt over the THAAD issue.
South Korea's foreign minister Kang Kyung-wha also expressed optimism in getting bilateral relations back on track.
"I am glad to be able to discuss in-depth the achievements we've made in our bilateral relations and to work on areas that haven't fared well. Through our talks, I hope to exchange views on how we can revitalize high-level exchanges, as well as boost cooperation in the areas of economy, environment, culture and personal exchanges."
On North Korea, the two sides vowed close cooperation to make progress towards denuclearization noting that the situation was fluid given that Pyeongyang continues to stress its "year-end" deadline.
They agreed that peace must be maintained on the peninsula and war must not break out emphasizing the importance of continued dialogue between North Korea and the U.S., and to keep the pledges made during their Singapore summit.
Kim Min-ji, Arirang News.