Li Zhanshu, China's third-ranked official and chief of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, is expected to visit Seoul later this month, sources said Thursday, amid speculation he could discuss the possibility of President Xi Jinping visiting South Korea.
Li is arranging to visit Seoul at the invitation of Assembly Speaker Kim Jin-pyo. The two are expected to commemorate the 30th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two countries and discuss ways to beef up cooperation, according to political and diplomatic sources.
Should Li pay a visit to President Yoon Suk-yeol, he could discuss Xi's possible trip to Seoul.
Xi last visited South Korea in July 2014 during the Park Geun-hye administration.
In joint ceremonies celebrating the 30th anniversary of Seoul-Beijing's diplomatic ties last month, both Yoon and Xi took note of the importance of the relationship between the neighboring countries and voiced hope for closer cooperation.
Yoon, in particular, expressed hope for a face-to-face meeting with Xi. The Chinese president agreed to strengthen "strategic communication" with Yoon, saying the two nations should become "good neighbors, friends and partners." (Yonhap)