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Lee Myung-Bak's visits promote China-S. Korea relations

01-11-2012 12:49 BJT

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South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak is on a three-day state visit to China. This is his second state visit to Beijing since he took office as president in February 2008.

Lee Myung-Bak arrived in Beijing on Monday for a state visit at the invitation of President Hu Jintao. Both countries have attached great importance to the visit.

President Hu Jintao hosted a red-carpet welcoming ceremony for Lee in the Great
Hall of the People on Monday afternoon.

President Hu Jintao hosted a red-carpet welcoming ceremony for Lee in the Great Hall of the People on Monday afternoon. At a meeting after the ceremony, Hu said he believes Lee’s visit will promote bilateral exchanges and cooperation and further develop the strategic cooperative partnership. President Lee said this year holds special significance as it is the 20th anniversary since China and South Korea established diplomatic relations in 1992.

This is also the first major meeting between the leaders of the two countries since the death of the former DPRK leader Kim Jong-il, so security on the Korean peninsula is a focus of the visit.

During a meeting with Lee on Tuesday, Premier Wen Jiabao urged an early start to
negotiations on a bilateral free trade agreement, or FTA, between China and South
Korea.

Liu Weimin, spokesman of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said, "We believe the peace and safety of Korean Peninsula is in the interest of all parties. We encourage more regular communication and cooperation to push the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and the relaunch of six party talks."

During a meeting with Lee on Tuesday, Premier Wen Jiabao urged an early start to negotiations on a bilateral free trade agreement, or FTA, between China and South Korea. He pointed out the importance of deepening economic integration in East Asia, and said the two sides should seize on opportunities in launching negotiations on a possible free trade agreement.

Lee Myung-Bak responded that a free trade agreement would be of mutual benefit, as well as the promotion of cooperation in East Asia. He added that South Korea is willing to join hands with China to achieve this goal.

The trade volume between China and South Korea stood at 5 billion US dollars in 1992 when the two countries established diplomatic ties. In 2010, the number exceeded 200 billion US dollars. China is currently South Korea’s largest trading partner and South Korea is China’s third largest.

 

Editor:Zhang Dan |Source: CNTV.CN

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