A senior Chinese diplomat attended a reception at the South Korean ambassador's residence in Beijing on Thursday in the latest sign of improved relations between the two nations.
Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Kong Xuanyou attended an event at the South Korean ambassador Noh Young-min's residence in Beijing to celebrate a South Korean national holiday and the Armed Forces Day.
Kong did not deliver a congratulatory speech, but held a separate meeting with Ambassador Noh at the event. Kong's attendance came just hours after he returned from Moscow where he met with his North Korean and Russian counterparts.
Seoul-Beijing ties had been strained over the deployment of a U.S. anti-missile system in South Korea. China did not send a senior official to the event in 2016 when the two nations were in the midst of a diplomatic conflict over the issue. Last year, a deputy minister-level official attended the event.
But this year, about one thousand people attended the event, including Kong and other senior Chinese officials and diplomats.