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Cover Stories Series 2013> South Korea & China:Closer Than Ever> Video
UPDATED: June 28, 2013
China, South Korea to Strengthen Ties

President Xi Jinping held talks with his Republic of Korea (ROK) counterpart Park Geun-hye on Thursday and pledged to boost reciprocal cooperation between the two countries in an all-around way.

Hailing the progress of bilateral ties in the 21 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations, Xi said China attaches great importance to its relationship with the ROK, adding that the two countries share common interests in promoting economic development, addressing regional problems and countering global challenges.

The development of bilateral ties not only benefits the people of the two countries, but also helps to safeguard peace and stability in the region and the world at large, Xi said.

Park arrived in Beijing Thursday morning, kicking off her first state visit to China since taking office in February. During her four-day visit, Park will also meet with Premier Li Keqiang and top legislator Zhang Dejiang.

Xi said both sides should respect each other's social systems and development paths, deepen win-win cooperation, work together to advance the process of denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula and enhance coordination and cooperation on major regional and global issues.

Xi said China is firmly committed to seeking a nuclear-free peninsula.

"China resolutely safeguards the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and the region, opposes any party that disrupts peace and stability and adheres to resolving problems through dialogue and negotiations," Xi said.

Xi said China welcomes Park's proposal of a "Korean Peninsula trust process" and supports the improvement of relations between the north and south.

There have been some positive changes on the peninsula, Xi said, calling for related parties to make efforts to resume the six-party talks at an early date.

Xi said China would like to step up communication and coordination with the ROK regarding the talks.

Park said the ROK is committed to safeguarding peace and stability in northeast Asia, seeking a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula and resolving relevant issues through the six-party talks.

The ROK appreciates China's role in promoting denuclearization and safeguarding peace and stability on the peninsula, Park said, pledging to increase strategic communication and cooperation with China and create favorable conditions for the resumption of the six-party talks.

She underscored the ROK's commitment to improving ties with the DPRK on the basis of trust and laying a foundation for peace and unification on the peninsula.

The two presidents agreed to increase exchanges at multiple levels and in multiple areas, deepen economic and technological cooperation, make joint efforts to reach a free trade agreement, beef up cultural and people-to-people exchanges and enhance coordination in the United Nations and other major international mechanisms.

After the talks, the two sides issued a joint statement and an action plan to enhance the strategic partnership between China and the ROK.

According to the action plan, the two countries have decided to start talks on maritime demarcation at an early date.

"The two sides reconfirmed the vital importance of maritime demarcation in advancing bilateral ties, as well as boosting maritime cooperation," says the plan.

"(The two sides) have decided to launch maritime demarcation talks as soon as possible so as to advance the process of maritime demarcation," the plan says.

The two sides agreed to boost communication and cooperation, strengthen joint surveillance and management and enhance joint studies to protect fishery resources in relevant waters.

China and the ROK will also increase exchanges on historical studies, according to the action plan.

(CNTV.cn, Xinhua News Agency June 27, 2013)

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