The highlight of President Moon's bilaterals here in Manila will be his face-to-face talks with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang coming fresh off his one-on-one with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Vietnam where the two sides agreed to end a year-long standoff over the deployment of USA missile defense system in South Korea.
Plans on the way to hold another Commemorative Summit in 2019 to celebrate the 30 Anniversary of ASEAN-ROK dialogue relations. Moon was the second leader Xi held bilateral talks with that day, following Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang, and followed by the leaders of Japan and the Philippines. Meeting for the first time since their modus vivendi to put aside their differences and end a year-long standoff over the deployment of a USA missile defense system in South Korea, Presidents Moon and Xi reaffirmed their joint resolve to mend ties and restore cooperation in all areas. "I hope that through joint efforts by both sides, we are able to swiftly return China-South Korea relations to a normal trajectory", he added.
The Korean government also assuaged Beijing's security concerns with the so-called "three nos", meaning no additional Thaad deployments, no joining of a broader U.S. missile defense (MD) system and no Korea-U.S. -Japan military alliance.
He apparently underscored the importance of their ties, saying his country had as much at stake as South Korea in establishing peace on the Korean Peninsula.
The two leaders last met in July in Berlin, on the sidelines of the Group of 20, or G-20, summit.
It was Moon's first meeting with the Chinese premier since he took office. Xi reportedly said he would try to visit, and that in case he is unable to attend he will send a high-level delegation instead.
The United States and South Korea on Saturday started joint naval exercises that will involve three US aircraft carriers in what military officials describe as a clear warning to North Korea.
Xi urged South Korea to take a "responsible attitude on THAAD that stands the test of history", Xinhua said. The two leaders met on November 13 at the Sofitel Hotel in downtown Manila, where they are attending the ASEAN+3 Summit and East Asia Summit. Cheong Wa Dae now serves that function.