Chinese Ambassador to South Korea Xing Haiming pays tribute to former President Roh Tae-woo at the funeral home at Seoul National University Hospital in central Seoul on Thursday. (Yonhap)
The top Chinese envoy here expressed condolences Thursday over the death of former South Korean President Roh Tae-woo, who formally established diplomatic ties between the two nations during his presidency.
Ambassador Xing Haiming said Roh is "an old friend" of China who changed the regional security dynamic by establishing relations with China in 1992 and deciding to sever South Korea's ties with Taiwan.
"(We) won't forget that (Roh) made a big decision to forge diplomatic relations with China," Xing said, as he visited the funeral home at Seoul National University Hospital in the capital.
Xing, who met with Roh in person after being appointed to the position, said he personally feels "deep grief" over his death. Roh died Tuesday at the age of 88.
The ambassador vowed efforts to further deepen bilateral relations as the two Asian neighbors commemorate the 30th anniversary of the diplomatic ties next year.
Roh visited Beijing in 1992 to meet his Chinese counterpart, Yang Shangkun, in the first-ever summit between the two nations. (Yonhap)