South Korean President Lee Myung-bak met Chinese President Hu Jintao's special envoy Tang Jiaxuan in Seoul on Monday to discuss relations between China and South Korea and major international issues of common concern.
Tang conveyed a message from the Chinese president to Lee Myung-bak, who was sworn in as the 17th president of South Korea earlier in the day.
In the message, Hu extended his congratulations to Lee and said that the Chinese government attaches great importance to ties with South Korea and is ready to work with the South Korean side to promote bilateral ties in a comprehensive way.
The Chinese president also said in the message that strengthened ties between the two countries will benefit the two peoples and contribute to peace and stability in the region and the world.
Lee responded by asking the Chinese envoy to send his best regards to Chinese President Hu Jintao.
He said China is an important economic partner for South Korea and plays an important role in regional issues in northeast Asia.
South Korea hopes that the communication between leaders of the two countries can be further strengthened and bilateral cooperation extended, Lee said.
Lee wished China every success in hosting the 2008 Olympics, saying the event will promote China's development and benefit South Korea as well as the world.
During the meeting, Tang said as neighbors and important partners, China and South Korea share broad common interests and have vast cooperation potential.
China is willing to maintain high-level contact with South Korea, enhance mutual political trust, explore possibilities of pragmatic cooperation and expand cultural exchanges, aiming to bring bilateral ties to a higher level, the Chinese envoy said.
The two sides also agreed that China has played a significant role in resolving the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue and pledged to work with the other parties of the six-party talks to achieve the goal of denuclearization and construct a framework to ensure eternal peace and security on the peninsula and in the whole of northeast Asia.
(Xinhua News Agency February 26, 2008)