China says it’s prepared to ‘work together’ with next U.S. president

China is ready to cooperate with the next president of the United States and prepared to play a role in improving inter-Korea relations, Beijing’s top diplomat to Seoul said.

Chinese Ambassador to South Korea Xing Haiming said Friday at the 15th Jeju Forum for Peace and Prosperity that China looks forward to working with the next U.S. administration, Yonhap reported.

Both countries “should not fight against each other, but work together for human society, and for the people of both nations,” Xing said, in response to a question about China’s position on the U.S. presidential election.

Xing also said China hopes the U.S. election “proceeds smoothly.”

“No matter who becomes [president], since it is an internal U.S. matter we will be watching,” the Chinese ambassador said.

China’s tensions with the United States and neighboring countries did not come up on Friday. Xing said high-level exchanges between Beijing and Seoul have stalled but confirmed a Xi Jinping visit to South Korea is being pursued in Beijing. China will also continue to “play a role for peace and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula,” Xing said.

China’s relations with U.S. security partners have deteriorated this year in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and numerous accusations of espionage and stealing from the Trump administration. China could soon begin to impose an anti-dumping duty of more than 200% on Australian wines next week, the South China Morning Post reported Friday.

The United States maintains 28,500 troops in South Korea. The U.S.-South Korea Combined Forces Command observed an early ceremony for the 42nd anniversary of the CFC, where South Korean President Moon Jae-in delivered a speech, Newsis reported Friday.

Moon said bilateral cooperation on the coronavirus has made a difference and expressed his gratitude to U.S. troops.

“Let’s continue to overcome all difficulties together as we do now,” Moon said.

U.S. Forces Korea recently warned South Korean base employees could face another furlough next year due to disagreement over defense cost-sharing, according to Stars and Stripes on Monday. The Trump administration has demanded a five-fold increase in cost contributions from Seoul.

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