July 22 (UPI) -- The top U.S. and Chinese envoys to South Korea held a rare meeting to discuss topics of bilateral concern in Seoul, the same day China said the United States ordered Beijing to close its consulate in Houston.
U.S. Ambassador to Seoul Harry Harris posted a selfie of Chinese Ambassador Xing Haiming and himself to Twitter on Wednesday. Harris confirmed on the social media platform he and Xing discussed the "important [U.S.-China] relationship," and described his encounter with Xing at the U.S. ambassador's residence as a "good meeting."
The Chinese Embassy in Seoul also posted to Facebook pictures of Xing and Harris. The two diplomats appeared to be in mid-discussion at a dining table with aides in one picture. In another image, Harris appeared to be taking Xing around a guided tour of the residence, where artwork, including vintage posters of the U.S. Navy, were seen hanging on the walls.
A U.S. Embassy staff member who spoke to Yonhap on the condition of anonymity said Harris "commented afterward that he enjoyed the productive discussion with Ambassador Xing on a broad range of diplomatic issues."
The embassy also said the meeting lasted for about an hour, according to South Korean news service Newsis.
The Chinese Embassy in Seoul said Xing told Harris the stable development of U.S.-China relations not only meets the fundamental interests of the two countries, but also "coincides with the common aspirations of people around the world."
"Cooperation between China and the United States would benefit all, and conflict will harm both sides," Xing said, according to the Chinese mission in Seoul.
Xing said China has "no intention to replace the United States," and that China hopes the United States "respects China's core interests."
The two sides also discussed issues of the Korean Peninsula, including the trends in North Korea, the Embassy said.