On October 27, 2011, Vice Premier of the State Council Li Keqiang met in Seoul with the heads of a number of friendship groups of the Republic of Korea (ROK), including Korea-China's Friendship Association, Korea-China Friendship Association, 21st Century Korea-China Exchange Association, Korea-China Cultural Association, Korea-China Economic Association, Korea-China Exchange Association, etc.
Li said that the ROK friendship groups have made unremitting efforts and great contributions to enhancing friendship between the Chinese and the ROK people and promoting the development of China-ROK relations. They are the witness and driving force of the growth of China-ROK relations and good friends of the Chinese people. Li extended gratitude to all of them.
He pointed out that China and the ROK are close neighbors across the sea and the two peoples enjoy a long history of friendly exchanges. The establishment of China-ROK diplomatic ties in 1992 opened a new page of bilateral relations. The two countries have deepened political mutual trust, expanded economic and trade cooperation, boosted cultural exchanges and pushed forward friendly exchanges and cooperation in all fields comprehensively since the establishment of diplomatic ties nearly 20 years ago. As important countries in the region, China and the ROK are both good neighbors and important partners. A sound China-ROK relationship is beneficial to the two countries and their people and also to regional peace and development. He hopes the ROK friendship groups continue to promote China-ROK friendship, enhance friendship between the two peoples, advance the bilateral pragmatic exchanges and cooperation and help lift the bilateral relations to a higher level.
Heads of the friendship groups spoke highly of the sound development of ROK-China relations. They would take the opportunity of the 20th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties next year to boost the bilateral economic, trade, cultural and educational exchanges, deepen the bilateral friendship and push forward the mutually beneficial cooperation.
Li also responded to their suggestions on deepening the bilateral friendly cooperation, speeding up the development of ROK-China free trade area, reinforcing personnel exchanges, especially exchanges between youth and jointly maintaining peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula.
In the morning, Li also met cordially with the staffs of the Chinese embassy in the ROK and representatives of Chinese-funded organizations, overseas China and students abroad in Seoul.