In a long-anticipated bilateral event, the two sides discussing cooperation on fighting covid-19, boosting economic ties and enhancing cultural ties.
South Korea has announced that it held talks with China's top diplomat over trade, denuclearisation and the coronavirus response.
Throughout the meeting, senior South Korean and Chinese officials on Saturday reaffirmed plans to arrange a summit between their leaders “at an early date” once coronavirus concerns subside, Seoul’s presidential office said.
The visit from Beijing was the first of its kind since the Covid-19 outbreak began late last year.
The government of South Korean President Moon Jae-in has been eager to improve bilateral relations that have been strained since South Korea deployed a US anti-missile system on its soil in 2017 over Chinese objections.
Moon had hoped to host Chinese President Xi Jinping in Seoul during the earlier half of the year, but the spread of Covid-19 prevented the visit.
Moon’s government is eager to resume engagement with North Korea, which has virtually cut off all inter-Korean cooperation amid nuclear negotiations with the Trump administration that have stalled over disagreements in exchanging sanctions relief for nuclear disarmament.
China, North Korea's major ally and economic lifeline, had endorsed the easing of US-led sanctions and pressure to induce denuclearisation steps from the North.
The two sides discussed topics such as accelerating free-trade agreement negotiations, expanding cultural exchanges as well as the election of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Director General, South Korea's presidential Blue House spokesman Kang Min-seok said in a statement.
Yang Jiechi, a member of the Communist Party Politburo, met with South Korea's new national security adviser, Suh Hoon, in the southern port city of Busan, the South Korean government said.
Kang added that Yang addressed China's position regarding the current US-China relations and Suh in return emphasized the importance of cooperative US-China relations for peace and prosperity in Northeast Asia.
The talks come after the Covid-19 pandemic had undercut bilateral exchanges and stalled denuclearisation negotiations involving North Korea.
The two countries resumed exchanges last month when Seoul sent a high-level diplomat for a bilateral economic meeting.
Suh, who took up the top security job last month after serving as intelligence chief, also discussed a potential trip to Seoul by Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Kang said the two countries agreed to make Xi’s visit to South Korea happen promptly once the Covid-19 situation stabilized, adding that China called South Korea a priority for President Xi to visit.
Yang said China will continue to talk and cooperate with South Korea to achieve denuclearisation and peace on the Korean peninsula. The two sides also agreed on need to hold the South Korea-China-Japan summit within this year. Yang arrived on Friday and is to leave on Saturday, the government said in a statement.
Suh said “co-prosperity and friendly cooperation” between Washington and Beijing are critical for the interests of Northeast Asia and the world, the Blue House said.
Rising US-Chinese tensions have rattled South Korea, which worries about being squeezed between its main military ally and biggest trading partner.