Ex­perts point way to ‘ build a bet­ter dream’ as Xi set to visit ROK

China Daily (Canada) - - CHINA - By PU ZHENDONG puzhen­dong@chi­nadaily.com.cn

The “Chi­nese Dream” of na­tional re­ju­ve­na­tion and the Repub­lic of Korea’s “new era of hope and hap­pi­ness” can dove­tail to the ben­e­fit of both coun­tries and the re­gion, se­nior diplo­mats and an­a­lysts said as Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping pre­pares to visit Seoul.

As­sis­tant For­eign Min­is­ter Liu Jian­chao out­lined the ben­e­fits of fur­ther co­op­er­a­tion when he read a con­grat­u­la­tory let­ter from For­eign Min­is­ter Wang Yi to the Sec­ond China-ROK Pub­lic Diplo­macy Fo­rum in Bei­jing on Thurs­day.

The fo­rum, with the theme “Build­ing a Bet­ter Dream”, at­tracted about 240 govern­ment, think tank and busi­ness rep­re­sen­ta­tives from both coun­tries.

“Bei­jing has been pur­su­ing the ‘Chi­nese Dream’ to re­vi­tal­ize the coun­try, while Seoul is carv­ing out the ‘sec­ond mir­a­cle on the Han River’ and build­ing ‘an era of hap­pi­ness’, ” Wang said, adding that people from the two coun­tries should walk side by side to­ward these con­verg­ing goals.

ROK Pres­i­dent Park Ge­un­hye vis­ited Bei­jing a year ago, shortly af­ter tak­ing of­fice, when the two coun­tries signed a se­ries of agree­ments in ar­eas in­clud­ing trade, fi­nance and ma­rine sci­ence.

Ob­servers said the lead­ers’ meet­ing in Seoul will be of cru­cial im­por­tance against the back­drop of ris­ing ten­sions on the Korean Penin­sula and in South­east Asia.

Zhang Lian­gui, a re­searcher of Korean stud­ies at the Party School of the Com­mu­nist Party of China Cen­tral Com­mit­tee, said, “Is­sues such as eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion, de­nu­cle­ariza­tion of the penin­sula and joint ef­forts to curb the Ja­panese right-wing po­lit­i­cal trend on his­tory will be dis­cussed.”

Huang Youfu, a pro­fes­sor of Korean stud­ies at Minzu Univer­sity of China in Bei­jing, said, “The time is ripe for the two coun­tries to lay down a free trade agree­ment.”

China and the ROK of­fi­cially be­gan ne­go­ti­a­tions on a bi­lat­eral free trade area in 2012.

China is the ROK’s largest trad­ing part­ner, largest mar­ket for ex­ports and largest source of im­ports and in­vest­ment, while the ROK is China’s third-largest trad­ing part­ner. Bi­lat­eral trade was worth $250 bil­lion in 2012.

On Wed­nes­day, Wang met Hwang Joon-kook, Seoul’s chief ne­go­tia­tor to the Six-Party Talks.

The talks are aimed at find­ing a peace­ful res­o­lu­tion to se­cu­rity con­cerns as a re­sult of the Demo­cratic People’s Repub­lic of Korea’s nu­clear weapons pro­gram.

Wang said, “China and the ROK should strengthen co­op­er­a­tion to safe­guard penin­sula peace and sta­bil­ity, re­al­ize de­nu­cle­ariza­tion and re­sume the SixParty Talks at an early date.”

Xin­hua con­trib­uted to this story.

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