Updated: 2013-06-27 06:49
The four-day visit to China by the President of the Republic of Korea, Park Geun-hye, which starts on Thursday, is expected to inject new vitality into the strategic cooperative partnership between the two countries, as it presents a good opportunity for the neighbors to deepen their cooperation at both the bilateral and the multilateral levels.
In a written interview with China Daily prior to her visit, Park expressed the hope that the two countries will elevate their relationship to new heights, reaching beyond what they have achieved over the past 20 years.
"To this end, I will work with President Xi Jinping during my visit to outline a new blueprint for the common prosperity of Korea and China looking to the next two decades," she said.
She will find her sentiments well received by Chinese leaders, as Beijing is sincere about deepening mutual trust and raising its interaction with Seoul to a higher level, so that the two neighbors can not only benefit more from their practical cooperation but also contribute more to regional peace and development.
Thanks to the efforts of both countries, bilateral relations have advanced smoothly since they established diplomatic relations in 1992. China is the largest trading partner and investment destination for the ROK, and the latter is one of China's major trading partners. The volume of bilateral trade surpassed $250 billion last year. People-to-people exchanges have also flourished.
With Park leading a sizeable delegation to China, Beijing and Seoul are poised to ink multiple agreements that will further consolidate their reciprocal cooperation in various fields. A bilateral free trade agreement is also expected to feature in Park's meeting with Xi.
It is widely anticipated that the two leaders will also discuss the situation on the Korean Peninsula, and the world will be watching closely to see what consensus the two leaders reach.
Thanks to more contact among the parties concerned and their increased efforts, tensions on the peninsula have been alleviated recently to some degree. There is every reason to continue building on this hard-won momentum.
We believe Beijing and Seoul are ready to contribute more to this positive trend and together will push for more dialogue and contact to stabilize the peninsula.
(China Daily 06/27/2013 page8)