Significant talks

Updated: 2011-12-28 14:26

(China Daily)

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The fourth strategic high-level dialogue between China and the Republic of Korea (ROK) has enabled officials from the two sides to have a thorough discussion on issues of mutual concern. For bilateral ties to grow steadily and healthily, both countries need such an important platform to strengthen the dynamics of their interaction and explore solutions to some thorny issues.

As close neighbors enjoying friendly ties, China and the ROK have maintained a good momentum in their cooperation in trade and other fields. In 2010, the volume of bilateral trade set a historical record, reaching $200 billion.

Both Beijing and Seoul have realized that their reciprocal cooperation is a win-win strategy and they need to continuously inject new vitality into it. Their cooperation has taken on even greater significance under the backdrop of the global economic recession, as their robust trade not only brings benefits to themselves, it also contributes to regional and world growth as well.

Next year marks the 20th anniversary of the establishment of their diplomatic ties, and the two countries have vowed to further boost practical cooperation in various areas.

To ensure a bright future for bilateral interaction, they need to build more mutual trust and enhance their collaboration on issues of strategic significance so that they can better tap the potential of bilateral cooperation and properly handle their differences.

Apparently, this round of bilateral strategic talks has facilitated mutual understanding and helped bridge some of their differences. This is essential as skirmishes over irregularities in fishing in the East China Sea, such as the one that broke out earlier this month, have occurred from time to time and sowed dissonance in bilateral ties.

As both countries are players in East Asia and members of the Six-Party Talks aimed at denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, contacts at high levels will also have a positive effect on regional peace and stability. The two sides have agreed during Tuesday's meeting that all parties concerned should make joint efforts to maintain the peace and stability of the peninsula and the region.

Such a message epitomizes the two countries' endeavor to stabilize the situation on the peninsula after the sudden death of Kim Jong-il, top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), on December 17.

It is good to see that positive developments have continued to unfold since Kim's death. During his two-day official visit to China starting on Sunday, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda pledged to contribute to lasting peace and stability in Northeast Asia. On Monday, an ROK mourners' group arrived in Pyongyang and paid homage to Kim, the group was received by Kim Jong-un, the DPRK's new leader, and other DPRK officials.

All parties concerned should continue to build on this desirable momentum on the peninsula so as to pave the way for an early resumption of the Six-Party Talks.