Xi: ROK a key part­ner for peace

Strate­gic co­op­er­a­tion called cru­cial as he wel­comes S. Korea’s pres­i­dent

China Daily (Canada) - - V-DAY COMMEMORATION - By AN BAIJIE an­bai­jie@chi­nadaily.com.cn

China and the Re­pub­lic of Korea are friendly neigh­bors and im­por­tant forces in pro­mot­ing re­gional and world peace, Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping said on Wed­nes­day while meet­ing with vis­it­ing ROK Pres­i­dent Park Geun-hye.

Xi wel­comed Park to at­tend the cel­e­bra­tion of the 70th an­niver­sary of the end of World War II and the vic­tory in the Chi­nese Peo­ple’sWar of Re­sis­tance against Ja­panese Ag­gres­sion (1937-45), say­ing that the peo­ple of China and the ROK helped each other in the fight against Ja­panese in­vaders and made great con­tri­bu­tions to the World An­tiFas­cistWar.

The Europe and Asia Co­op­er­a­tion plan, pro­posed by the ROK gov­ern­ment, is sim­i­lar to China’s Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive, and China wel­comes the ROK to par­tic­i­pate in the Belt and Road projects as well as the Asian In­fra­struc­ture In­vest­ment Bank, Xi said.

China has al­ways been com­mit­ted to de­nu­cle­ariza­tion of the Korean Penin­sula and its peace and sta­bil­ity, and is op­posed to all ac­tions that might lead to ten­sion, Xi said.

Park at­tached great im­por­tance to the strate­gic part­ner­ship be­tween the ROK and China, say­ing that the ROK gov­ern­ment is will­ing to en­hance co­op­er­a­tion with China in all as­pects.

The ROK hopes to work with­China to de­nu­cle­arize the penin­sula, main­tain peace in North­east Asia and pro­mote de­vel­op­ment of the re­gion, she said.

Ac­com­pa­nied by a del­e­ga­tion of 156 busi­ness­peo­ple, Park is the first ROK pres­i­dent to at­tend aWorldWar II an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tion in China. It is the sixth sum­mit be­tween Xi and Park, who has vis­ited China each year since 2013.

Park will at­tend the vic­tory pa­rade in Tian’an­men Square, which starts at 10 am on Thurs­day morn­ing. She is sched­uled to fly to Shang­hai on Thurs­day af­ter­noon for the re­open­ing of the re­stored pro­vi­sional Korean gov­ern­ment build­ing used dur­ing the Ja­panese oc­cu­pa­tion. She will also talk with ROK and Chi­nese busi­ness­peo­ple in Shang­hai.

The ROK De­fense Min­istry said onWed­nes­day that a del­e­ga­tion of three mil­i­tary of­fi­cials will at­tend the pa­rade in a first for the two coun­tries, ac­cord­ing to the Seoul-based news­pa­per Cho­sun Ilbo.

Premier Li Ke­qiang, while meet­ing with Park onWed­nes­day af­ter­noon, said that China would like to work with the ROK to boost the re­gional econ­omy and de­velop the China-ROK strate­gic part­ner­ship.

Both sides should rely more on in­no­va­tion and en­hance co­op­er­a­tion in strate­gic in­dus­tries in­clud­ing new energy, smart man­u­fac­tur­ing and low-car­bon tech­nol­ogy, Li said.

The two coun­tries should also make use of the Chi­naROK free trade agree­ment, seek to fur­ther de­velop the po­ten­tial of their com­ple­men­tary economies, and pro­mote co­op­er­a­tion in equip­ment man­u­fac­tur­ing, science and tech­nol­ogy, in­no­va­tion and fi­nance, Li said.

Wang Jun­sheng, a re­searcher on East Asian stud­ies with the Chi­nese Academy of So­cial Sciences, said that Park’s visit is based on the com­mon in­ter­est in main­tain­ing peace in North­east Asia.

“The re­la­tion­ship be­tween the two coun­tries has en­tered the best pe­riod ever,” he said. “China and the ROK can con­tain Ja­panese rightwing forces and main­tain sta­bil­ity on the Korean Penin­sula.”

Zhang Lian­gui, a re­searcher of Korean stud­ies at the Party School of the Com­mu­nist Party of China Cen­tral Com­mit­tee, said that Park’s visit is ex­pected to cre­ate a good at­mos­phere for the de­tailed im­ple­men­ta­tion of the free trade agree­ment, which was signed on June 1.

Ac­cord­ing to the agree­ment, the ROK will elim­i­nate tar­iffs on 92 per­cent of all ex­ports from China within 20 years, while China will abol­ish tar­iffs on 91 per­cent of all ROK goods.

China is the ROK’s big­gest trad­ing part­ner as well as its big­gest ex­port mar­ket, with bi­lat­eral trade to­tal­ing $235.4 bil­lion last year, cus­toms fig­ures show. The ROK has set a goal of reach­ing $300 bil­lion in bi­lat­eral trade this year.

The ROK is also one of China’s ma­jor for­eign in­vestors, with in­vest­ment of $1.6 bil­lion in the first quar­ter of this year alone.

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