Premier Li arrives in Seoul for ROK visit, China-Japan-ROK summit

Source:Xinhua Published: 2015-10-31 11:56:25

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Saturday started his official visit to the Republic of Korea (ROK) and is scheduled to attend the China-Japan-ROK summit after a three-and-half-year hiatus of the trilateral mechanism.

Li's first visit to the ROK as Chinese premier has been the latest signal, among frequent exchange of high-level visits, that the two countries are enriching their strategic cooperative partnership.

Li is scheduled to hold talks with ROK President Park Geun-hye and meet National Assembly Speaker Chung Ui-hwa and Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn as well as leading entrepreneurs.

Meanwhile, the Chinese premier will address major representatives of the local business community, visit an innovation hub and attend activities for promoting tourism and youth interactions.

The Chinese side is also working with the ROK side to fulfill the free trade agreement (FTA) signed by the two sides in June and to further improve the bilateral pact, particularly in financial cooperation.

Since last year, China and the ROK have worked on upgrading its ties toward a partnership for joint development, regional peace, Asian revitalization and world prosperity.

Li said upon his arrival that he expects to enhance friendship, consolidate mutual trust, and expand exchange and innovative cooperation with the ROK side, jointly elevating the good-neighborly friendship and reciprocal and practical cooperation to a higher level.

The Chinese premier is scheduled to attend the 6th China-Japan-ROK summit, three and a half years after the last one was held in Beijing.

The trilateral summit took place annually from 2008 to 2012, with a standstill afterwards largely due to Japan's political maneuvers.

In September 2012, Japan announced to "purchase" part of the Diaoyu Islands, which chilled the relations with China. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to the Yasukuni Shrine, which honors WWII war criminals, further worsened its relationship with Asian neighbors.

Occupying an overwhelming gravity in Asian economy and a significant share of world economy, China, Japan and the ROK are working for closer economic and cultural ties, with an eye on regional integration and global cooperation, while beefing up political trust.

The three countries have already set up 19 ministerial meetings and over 60 working-level consultations for such purposes.

Meanwhile, the three biggest economies in East Asia started the FTA negotiations in November 2012, discussing commodity trade, services and investment. The ninth round of such negotiations at the end of this year might include talks on commodity tariff reduction and services market access.

Ahead of Li's visit, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin said the three countries, facing the complicated global situation and the weak recovery of the world economy, should strengthen the trilateral cooperation, maintain regional peace and stability, and power the economic development of Asia and the world.

Posted in: Diplomacy

blog comments powered by Disqus