SEOUL, May 13 (Yonhap) – The top diplomats of South Korea and China were set to hold talks in Beijing on Monday, as Seoul seeks to manage the bilateral relations with its Asian neighbor that have cooled amid its close alignment with the United States.

Foreign Minister Cho Tae-yul will meet one-on-one with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi for talks expected to cover a wide range of issues, from bilateral ties and those related to the Korean Peninsula to regional and global issues.

Cho was scheduled to depart for Beijing in the morning.

Cho's two-day trip comes as South Korea is looking to improve the ties with China that have soured amid Seoul's strong alignment with Washington under the administration of President Yoon Suk Yeol.

Cho has stressed the importance of keeping stable ties with China, its largest trading partner and a key player in nuclear diplomacy with North Korea, since he took office as foreign minister early this year.

During the upcoming talks, the two sides are also expected to discuss a trilateral summit with Japan that is most likely to take place in Seoul at the end of May.

While in Beijing, Cho will have a meeting with South Korean businesspeople working in China. He also plans to convene a conference of South Korean consuls general in China and discuss municipal-level exchanges.

Cho's visit marks the first trip to Beijing by a South Korean foreign minister in more than six years. In November 2017, then Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha visited the Chinese capital during the previous Moon Jae-in government.

The last bilateral talks between the two countries' top diplomats took place in August 2022, between Wang and then Foreign Minister Park Jin, in China's port city of Qingdao in the eastern Shandong Province.

Photo from Yonhap