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Sunday, 6 July 2014

S. Korea - China ties at best in history

President Xi Jinping and South Korean President Park Geun-hye greet children during a welcoming ceremony at the presidential Blue House in Seoul on Thursday. [Photo/Agencies]

President Xi says China-S. Korea ties at best in history

Chinese President Xi Jinping has returned to Beijing after a state visit to South Korea. On Friday, ...

Chinese FM: Xi Jinping´s visit a new milestone in ties

Chinese President Xi Jinping has wrapped up his two-day state visit to South Korea. On the flight ho...

Chinese president delivers speech to students and politicians

S. Korean officials and students react to Xi´s speech

During his visit, President Xi Jinping delivered a speech at Seoul National University. He talked ab...

Xi's visit a new dawn for China-ROK ties

Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to the Republic of Korea (ROK) could be the beginning of a new era in China-ROK relations.

Agreements reached during his visit include deals for the launch of RMB clearance in Seoul, political and security cooperation, and expanded people-to-people exchanges.

The visit has plotted a clear course for the future of relations, according to Wang Fan of the China Foreign Affairs University.


"Many issues that had been idling were discussed, with solid results," said Wang.

On Thursday, China and ROK agreed on direct trading between the RMB and won, the ROK currency, and signed a deal on renminbi (RMB) clearing in Seoul. Eliminating the need to exchange through U.S. dollars will save on transaction fees and hedge against foreign exchange volatility.

Beijing and Seoul also agreed to try to conclude FTA negotiations before the end of this year.

"The positive attitude to a free trade agreement will set a good example for other countries in East Asia," said Wang. Once established, the agreement will contribute to the progress of a China-Japan-ROK FTA and economic integration.

While the achievements in currency and trade are a natural result of increased economic exchange, Wang believes they were facilitated by Xi's visit.

China is already the ROK's largest trading partner and largest market for Korean exports, while ROK is China's third most important trading partner and was the fifth biggest source of foreign investment in 2013. Two-way trade totaled 274 billion U.S. dollars last year, and the leaders have promised a rise to 300 billion U.S. dollars by 2015.


Thursday's joint statement declared denuclearization and peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula to be in the common interests of all countries involved in the six-party talks.

The six-party talks, involving China, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), Japan, the ROK, Russia, and the U.S. have been suspended since late 2008.

Xi told Park that China and ROK should become partners that share common development, commit to regional peace and Asia's revitalization, and boost world prosperity. Beijing and Seoul share an unavoidable responsibility to maintain regional tranquility.


Both sides will celebrate the Year of Chinese Tourism in ROK in 2015 and the Year of South Korean Tourism in China in 2016 and elevate personnel exchanges to 10 million in 2016.

The two sides reached a consensus on waiving visas for service passport holders and decided to gradually expand visa-free coverage.

"People-to-people exchanges are already in a very good phase," said Wang. "These measures ensure the exchange will be continued."

Chinese and South Koreans made a record 8.22 million trips to each other's countries last year. More than 60,000 Chinese students are studying in ROK, which has the same number of students in China.

The two countries also pledged cooperation in such areas as public diplomacy, culture, film production, panda research, protection of cultural heritage and hosting sports events.

"These agreements create a favorable atmosphere for deepening mutual understanding between the two nations," said Wang. - Xinhua

Xi's South Korea trip hailed for boosting ties

Commentators laud prospects of an enhanced bilateral relationship.

President Xi Jinping's just-concluded two-day visit to South Korea has boosted ties and contributed to regional peace and stability, analysts say.

Kim Han-kwon, director of the Center for China Studies at the Asian Institute for Policy Studies in South Korea, said Xi's visit has deepened the two countries' cooperation in such fields as security, economics and culture.

"It is a boost not only to the political trust between leaders of the two countries but also to the friendship between the two peoples," he said.

The director called on both nations to maximize their common core interests, put aside differences and seek common ground.

Cha Jae-bok, a researcher with the Northeast Asian History Foundation of South Korea, said Xi's visit is of great significance to relations, and especially economic ties.

During the visit, the two sides signed a deal on establishing arrangements for the Chinese yuan's clearance in Seoul and agreed to push for the completion of negotiations on a free-trade agreement by year-end.

Those decisions will boost South Korea's financial markets and promote the process of economic integration among Asian countries, Cha said.

Shin Seong-ho, associate dean of the Office of International Affairs at Seoul National University, said Xi's speech at his university gave a broad and in-depth blueprint of the development of Asia and the whole world, rather than solely focusing on South Korea-China ties.

Kyung Hee University professor Ha Young-ae said the visit has bolstered South Korean public confidence in ties.

Japanese political commentator Jiro Honzawa said Xi's visit could serve to contain Japan's right wing. The deepening of ties could help safeguard peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and all of East Asia, he said.

His views were shared by Qian Feng, vice-director of Thailand's Chinese-language newspaper Asian Daily.

"The two heads of state reached consensus on denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, which laid a foundation for regional stability," he said.

During his South Korea visit on Thursday and Friday, Xi met with a number of South Korean leaders and politicians, and the two sides confirmed over 90 cooperation programs covering 23 fields.

Source: China Daily/Asia News Network