BEIJING -- Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory message to new President Moon Jae-in on Wednesday expressing hopes to deepen ties and resolve differences amid diplomatic rifts over a US missile defense system deployed in South Korea.
China's official Xinhua news agency quoted Xi as saying that he has always valued the relations between China and South Korea.
The two countries have deepened their ties since they established diplomatic ties 25 years ago and the strong relations have brought benefits to both and contribute to peace and stability in the region, he said.
Xi was also quoted as saying that he wants the two neighbors to properly deal with differences based on mutual understanding and respect, hoping for a healthy and stable relations going forward.
Moon was elected president of South Korea on Tuesday. His presidency started on Wednesday as he filled the office vacated by the March 10 ouster of Park Geun-hye.
His election came amid frayed ties between South Korea and China over Seoul's decision in July last year to allow a US anti-missile system to be installed on its soil despite Beijing strong protest for fear it will undermine its strategic security interests. (Yonhap)