Oct. 31 (UPI) -- China's foreign ministry said it hopes its ties to South Korea will be normalized despite Beijing's continued opposition to the deployment of a U.S. missile defense system on the peninsula.
Beijing's foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Tuesday China is paying close attention to recent statements from Seoul regarding THAAD and military developments in South Korea.
"We are watching whether or not South Korea will not enter into U.S.-led missile defense networks, whether the security cooperation among South Korea, United States and Japan will not develop into a military alliance, whether or not additional THAAD systems are being deployed and that THAAD does not undermine China's security interests," Hua said, according to Yonhap.
The Chinese spokeswoman was referring to statements from South Korea's foreign ministry on Monday.
Hua said Tuesday Beijing hopes China and South Korea will through effort "at the earliest moment normalize relations."
South Korea had deployed the U.S. THAAD system to identify and strike down potential North Korea missiles targeting some parts of the South or headed for U.S. territories.
Beijing strongly opposes THAAD and its powerful radar.
The equipment could be used to monitor Chinese military movements within the country's borders, Beijing had claimed.
The deployment was followed by a series of unofficial economic sanctions against South Korean businesses operating in China, including a ban on Chinese tourism to South Korea.
Expectations are building exchange and trade will resume following Beijing's official announcement on Tuesday.
Japanese news services including NHK reported the statement from Beijing could have a positive impact on an upcoming summit involving China, Japan and Korea.
Chinese state media, including People's Daily, said communication had been ongoing between Beijing and Seoul leading up to the foreign ministry announcement.
"The two sides agreed to get back on the right track in the near future," People's Daily said.