New milestone in China-ROK relations

By Zhao Jinglun
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, July 7, 2014
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South Korean President Park Geun-hye (front R) holds a welcome ceremony for Chinese President Xi Jinping (front L) at the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae before their talks in Seoul, South Korea, July 3, 2014. [Xinhua]

Xi Jinping has made his first state visit to the Republic of Korea since becoming Chinese president. And the ROK is his only stop on this trip. That underlines the importance of this visit. It has been described as a new milestone and a land mark visit for a very good reason.

With a population of 50 million and an area of 100,000 square kilometers, the ROK is not a big country. But it is an economic power house. Its major industrial enterprises Hyundai and Kia occupied 10.4 percent of the China auto market in 2011 (nearly all taxis in Beijing are made by Hyundai); and Samsung was the number one vendor of smart phones in China with 24.3 percent of market share. Xi praised the ROK society as being full of vitality and energy and the country as having "increasing international influence,"

Two-way trade between the two countries amounted to US$274.2 billion in 2013, a very impressive figure, which is greater than the total sum of the ROK's trade with the United States, Japan and the EU put together. And the two countries have agreed to conclude a free-trade agreement before end of this year.

The ROK's pursuit of a "Second Miracle on the Han River" parallels the "Chinese dream"-- the renewal of the Chinese nation and the aspiration of the Chinese people.

More importantly, northeast Asia is of great strategic importance as four great powers --the United States, China, Japan and Russia, as well as the two Koreas meet there. And the DPRK's nuclear arms are a major concern for the world community.

Xi and Park agreed that bilateral relations in various areas have developed by leaps and bounds to mutual benefit and have contributed to the common prosperity of the northeast Asian region.

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