On October 26, 2011, Vice Premier of the State Council Li Keqiang held a small-scale and then a large-scale meeting with Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea (ROK) Kim Hwang-sik in the government complex, Seoul.
LI first of all conveyed the sincere greetings and best wishes of Premier Wen Jiabao to Kim. He said that China-ROK relations enjoy sound development and the bilateral political, economic, trade and cultural exchanges and cooperation grow steadily. As important countries in the region, China and the ROK are both friendly neighbors and close partners. To strengthen the bilateral strategic partnership is beneficial to the two peoples and to peace, stability and development of the region as well. China attaches great importance to the relations with the ROK and always puts the development of long-term, stable and mutually beneficial China-ROK relationship high on its agenda of foreign relations. China expects to make joint efforts with the ROK to further step up exchanges and cooperation and raise the bilateral relations to a higher level.
Li raised four proposals on developing China-ROK relations. First, keep high-level exchanges and increase political mutual trust. Exchanges and cooperation between the governments, parliaments and political parties of the two countries should be promoted and the general direction of friendship and cooperation of bilateral relations should be maintained. Second, deepen economic and trade cooperation. Efforts should be made to enhance coordination on macroeconomic policies, strengthen cooperation on finance, logistics, high technology, environmental protection and energy efficiency, expand the bilateral currency swap from RMB180 billion to RMB360 billion and launch the intergovernmental negotiations on free trade area soon. Third, broaden cultural exchanges and consolidate the friendship between the people. The 20th anniversary of diplomatic ties between China and the ROK next year should be used as an opportunity to enhance the mutual understanding and friendship between the two peoples. China will invite 300 more ROK youth to the country from next year and dispatch 1,400 Chinese teachers to the ROK before 2015. Fourth, increase multilateral coordination and strengthen collaboration under the frameworks of China-Japan-ROK cooperation, 10+3 and East Asian integration.
Kim asked Li to convey cordial greetings to Premier Wen. He said that the bilateral cooperation has expanded rapidly and achieved fruitful results since the ROK and China established diplomatic ties, especially since the establishment of bilateral strategic partnership in 2008. The ROK expects to take the opportunity of the 20th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties next year to comprehensively enhance exchanges and cooperation on politics, economy, culture, media, youth and in the regional and international affairs and lift the bilateral ties to a higher level. It hopes participate actively in the implementation of China's 12th "five-year" plan to develop the bilateral cooperation on ITC, biotechnology, environmental protection and new energy for win-win results.
Talking about the Korean Peninsula issue, Li noted that the situation on the Peninsula eased recently. China hopes related parties seize the rare opportunity to maintain contacts and dialogue, further display flexibility, make efforts in the same direction, create favorable conditions for the early resumption of six-party talks, promote denuclearization on the Peninsula and safeguard peace and stability in the region. As a close neighbor of the Peninsula and a friend of both the ROK and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, China sincerely supports the two sides to build mutual trust and improve relations through dialogue and achieve reconciliation and cooperation.
Kim noted that the ROK admires China's important role of maintaining peace and stability of the Peninsula and Northeast Asia. He believes the six-party talks are very important to addressing the concerns of related parties. The ROK expects to reinforce coordination and communications with China to move forward the situation on the Peninsula and in Northeast Asia in the direction of peace and stability.
Li and Kim attended the signing ceremony of bilateral cooperation agreements on currency swap, e-commerce, labor and quarantine after the meetings ended.
In the evening, Li attended the welcome banquet hosted by Kim. The two leaders addressed the dinner respectively, expecting new progresses of China-ROK economic, trade and cultural cooperation. Accompanying Chinese delegates and officials of related ROK government agencies were present at the banquet.