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Xi-Park summit boosts Beijing-Seoul ties
July 4, 2014, 7:03 am

Chinese President Xi Jinping, right, and his South Korean counterpart Park Geun-hye, left, greet children during a welcome ceremony at the Presidential Blue House in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, July 3, 2014 [AP]

Chinese President Xi Jinping, right, and his South Korean counterpart Park Geun-hye, left, greet children during a welcome ceremony at the Presidential Blue House in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, July 3, 2014 [AP]

Chinese President Xi Jinping discussed peace in the Korean peninsula and bilateral ties with his South Korean counterpart Park Geun-hye in Seoul Thursday.

“We hold that the concerns of all sides should be treated in a balanced way, and a synchronized and equivalent method should be sought to bring the nuclear issue on Korean peninsula into a sustainable, irreversible and effective settlement process,” said Xi.

Long-drawn out negotiations for a free trade agreement (FTA) between China and South Korea would be expedited to conclude this year, said a joint statement after the meeting of the two leaders.

The two sides have inked 12 cooperation agreements during Xi’s first state visit to Seoul since he assumed office in 2013. Xi was traveling with a star-studded business delegation including Huawei chairman Ren Zhengfei, Baidu chairman Li Yanhong and Alibaba founder Jack Ma.

The two sides have set a bilateral trade target of $300 billion by 2015.

China is willing to launch a RMB clearance service in South Korea and would welcome more South Korean investment in central and western China, Xi said.

The Chinese President also discussed advancing the plan for creating an Asia-Pacific free trade area. Beijing is trying to counter US’ progress in forming a Trans-Pacific Partnership that excludes China by an alternate mega Free Trade Agreement in the Asia Pacific.

Officials said earlier this year that China has proposed studying the feasibility of a mammoth free-trade agreement in the Asia-Pacific region in addition to the contesting FTA’s, the US-led TPP and the China-led RCEP.

Meanwhile, Xi and Park also criticized the recent move by the Japanese government to to reinterpret Japan’s strict pacifist constitution to allow its armed forces to fight in defence of an ally outside Japan.

“When the war against Japan was at its highest pitch, the Chinese and Korean people shared their suffering and helped each other with sweat and blood,” Xi said in an address at Seoul National University.

The two countries, he said, could jointly hold memorial activities next year on the occasions of the 70th anniversary of the victory of the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression, and of the liberation of the Korean Peninsula from Japan’s colonial rule.

“Past experience, if not forgotten, is a guide for the future,” Xi said while meeting with South Korea’s National Assembly Speaker Chung Ui-hwa. “In line with that spirit, the two countries can jointly hold memorial activities next year.”

 

TBP and Agencies

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