Home > Topics > President Hu Jintao Attends the Seoul Nuclear Security Summit and the Fourth BRICS Leaders Meeting and Pays a State Visit to Cambodia
Chinese, South Korean presidents meet on ties, other issues

SEOUL, March 26 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Hu Jintao met South Korean President Lee Myung-bak in Seoul on Monday to discuss bilateral ties and other issues of common concern.

During their meeting on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit, the two leaders agreed to take the China-South Korea Friendly Exchange Year as an opportunity to give fresh impetus to the development of bilateral relations.

Political communication has been smooth and trade and economic cooperation has continuously expanded since the two countries established diplomatic relations 20 years ago, Hu said.

Friendly exchanges have been increasing and the two sides have also maintained close communication and coordination in multilateral affairs, Hu said.

Hu put forward a three-point proposal with a view to bringing their bilateral relationship to a higher level.

First, efforts should be made to strengthen mutual political and strategic trust.

The two sides should enhance high-level contacts and communication on bilateral and major regional and international issues of common concern, Hu said.

They should also strive to promote mutual understanding, expand common ground and accommodate each other's major concerns, he said.

Second, they should further expand pragmatic cooperation, strengthen coordination on macroeconomic policy issues, maintain a steady and health growth of their economies and the bilateral trade and economic ties, and expedite the efforts toward the goal of building the China-South Korea free trade area.

"We are confident of achieving 300 billion U.S. dollars in bilateral trade ahead of schedule, a target originally set for 2015," Hu said.

On trade and economic cooperation, China welcomes South Korea's efforts to expand investment in China through building industrial clusters, Hu said, adding that China welcomes South Korean businesses to increase their investment in such areas as high-end manufacturing, modern services, modern agriculture and emerging industries. China would also continue to encourage its enterprises to expand investments in South Korea, he said.

Third, efforts should be made to further shore up popular support for the development of bilateral relations.

The two sides should make full use of the China-South Korea Friendly Exchange Year and the 2012 World Expo in Yeosu, South Korea, and strengthen media exchanges to enhance mutual understanding between the two peoples, Hu said.

This is the 10th meeting between the two leaders over the past four years and the second between them this year. In January, the South Korean president visited China and held talks with President Hu on bilateral ties.

Hu also said President Lee's January visit to China was a good start to bilateral ties this year.

Agreeing with Hu's proposals, Lee said bilateral ties have been developing rapidly in the past 20 years.

Since the establishment of the bilateral strategic cooperative partnership in 2008, Lee added, cooperation in economy and trade and other areas has been fruitful.

He also said South Korea hopes to initiate free trade talks with China at an early date and is ready to forge a closer and stronger strategic partnership with China so as to achieve common prosperity.

The past 20 years have seen expanding cooperation and exchanges between China and South Korea in areas such as politics, trade and culture, as well as good communication and coordination on international and regional affairs.

After hearing Lee's views on the Korean Peninsula situation, Hu stressed that recently, there have been some new developments in the situation on the Peninsula, which have drawn the attention of the international community. China has been communicating closely with all related parties including South Korea, he said.

"At present, the situation on the Korean Peninsula is very complicated and sensitive. We do not hope to see a reversal of the hard-won momentum of relaxation of tension on the Peninsula," Hu said.

China is ready to work with other parties and continue to make active efforts to maintain peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, said the Chinese president.

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