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Hu Jintao's Visit to Strengthen ROK-Sino Relations

Chinese President Hu Jintao's upcoming state visit to the Republic of Korea (ROK) is hoped to promote the cooperation level between the two countries to a new high point and to strengthen the ROK-Sino all-round cooperative partnership, said South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday.

"ROK-Sino bilateral relations in diplomacy, security, economy and trade have been rapidly developed since the two countries forged diplomatic ties 13 years ago," said Ban in a written interview with Xinhua on Tuesday.

"It is an unprecedented speed !" described Ban.

Chinese President Hu Jintao is to pay a state visit to the ROK on Wednesday and Thursday, and to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders' Meeting to be convened on Nov. 18-19 in South Korean second largest city of Busan.

The South Korean top diplomat mentioned senior leaders of the two countries visited the other side very often, exchanging views on peaceful resolution on nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula, and situation on the peninsula and Northeast Asian region.

Ban also said the two states continuously strengthen cooperation at international organizations such as the United Nations and APEC.

"Economic and trade relations between ROK and China also experienced amazing rapid development," said Ban, adding the volume of bilateral trade is hoped to surpass the milestone level of US$100 billion this year.

"China is the biggest South Korea's investment destination. Merely in 2004, South Korean companies invested about US$4 billion in Chinese market," said Ban.

Ban also mentioned the bilateral cultural exchanges, which characterized by the "Korean Wave" and "Chinese Wind".

"Korean Wave" represents ROK singers, film stars as well as TV dramas are very popular in China. While, "Chinese Wind" means more and more ROK people are willing to learn Chinese language and know Chinese culture.

In 2003, during the summit meeting between Chinese President Hu Jintao and South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun in Beijing, the two leaders agreed to promote the bilateral good neighborly friendship to all-round cooperative partnership.

"The ROK government hopes Hu's state visit will largely push forward the ROK-Sino partnership," Ban said.

On the issue of China's peaceful development, the South Korean foreign minister highly evaluated the China's "scientific concept of development" which he said is "human oriented."

"Under the leadership of Hu Jintao, China makes efforts to build harmonious and ideal society, to seek peaceful development," said Ban.

Ban also said in the past 20 years, China realized annually about 10 percent economic growth.

"As close neighbor, ROK thinks the development of China's economy not only benefits its own, but also is helpful to the realization of peace and prosperity in the Northeast region and in the world," said Ban.

"China's growth provides opportunities to the ROK and other states," said Ban, adding he hopes China's economy continues developing.

(Xinhua News Agency November 16, 2005)

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