Moon Jae-in (front) of the liberal Minjoo Party waves during a celebration event in Seoul, South Korea, on May 9, 2017. Liberal candidate Moon Jae-in of the Minjoo Party said Tuesday that South Korea's presidential election is "a great victory of great people" after most of local media outlets viewed his victory as assured. (Xinhua/Yao Qilin)
by Xinhua writer Liu Chang
BEIJING, May 10 (Xinhua) -- Moon Jae-in, head of South Korea's Democratic Party, won Tuesday's presidential race by a large margin.
However, the new leader in Seoul may have little time to celebrate as he faces a series of major foreign policy messes left over by his impeached predecessor Park Geun-hye, most notably a highly charged situation on the Korean Peninsula.
Park's decision to introduce the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system, a U.S. missile defense shield, has complicated situation on the Peninsula and across the wider north-east Asia.
The move has also dampened the once warm and friendly South Korea-China relations, and interrupted the long-time healthy development of business links between the two countries.
During Moon's campaign for president, he was critical of South Korea's caretaker government's rush to deploy THAAD, noting that the system has posed a massive financial burden on the country.
It seems that Moon also wants better ties with China. He told Washington Post in a recent interview that he prefers to work with Beijing to solve the nuclear issue on the peninsula.
China firmly supports a denuclearized and peaceful peninsula, and has all along sought cooperation with relevant parties to work for that goal.
If Moon wants to improve Seoul's ties with Beijing, it would not be hard for him to figure out the correct path: that is, to push for peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and across north-east Asia that is now overshadowed by the deployment of THAAD.
As president, another major task for Moon and his government is to revive the country's economic growth and to create more jobs, especially for the young.
South Korea has been an export-oriented economy. With China being the country's largest trading partner and a major source of its trade surplus, it is apparently desirable for the new South Korean leader to join hands with China and work for constant improvement in their ties.
Moon said he would skip a grand inauguration ceremony and go straight to work, a move that demonstrates his pragmatism and eagerness to get things done. In crafting his future China policy, he is hoped to follow the same spirit to reset the relationship with Beijing for mutual interests.