Chinese premier urges Seoul to join Beijing in grasping general direction of bilateral friendship

Chinese Premier Li Qiang meets with South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol in Seoul, South Korea, May 26, 2024. Li arrived here Sunday to attend the ninth Trilateral Summit Meeting among China, Japan and South Korea from Sunday to Monday. [Photo/Xinhua]

SEOUL — Chinese Premier Li Qiang on Sunday called on South Korea to work with the Chinese side to grasp the general direction of friendship and mutual trust between the two countries, and respect each other’s core interests and major concerns.

It is also hoped that the two sides can firmly be each other’s friendly neighbor of mutual trust and partner of mutual achievement, and promote a sound, steady and substantial development of China-South Korea relations, he said when meeting with South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol here on the margins of the ninth Trilateral Summit Meeting among China, Japan and South Korea.

Since the establishment of diplomatic ties more than 30 years ago, China-South Korea relations have grown rapidly with fruitful economic and trade cooperation, which has brought tangible benefits to the two peoples, Li said.

The two countries adhere to the ideas of mutual respect, openness, inclusiveness and mutual benefit, Li said, adding that such valuable lessons should be cherished and upheld by both sides in the long run.

Noting that industrial and supply chains of China and South Korea are deeply intertwined, and economic and trade cooperation between the two countries has a solid foundation and huge potential, Li said both sides should work together to explore new cooperation areas, expand the scope of cooperation, and seize more development opportunities together.

The two sides should also oppose turning economic and trade issues into political or security issues, and maintain stable and smooth industrial and supply chains of the two countries and the world, Li said.

Chinese Premier Li Qiang meets with South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol in Seoul, South Korea, May 26, 2024. [Photo/Xinhua]

China is ready to work with South Korea to accelerate the second phase of China-South Korea Free Trade Agreement negotiations on a pragmatic and balanced basis, advance the building of the China-South Korea (Changchun) International Cooperation Demonstration Zone, and strengthen cooperation in high-end manufacturing, new energy, artificial intelligence, bio-medicine and other fields, he said.

Li said China will further ease market access, provide better service for foreign investment, continue to foster a first-class business environment that is market-oriented, law-based and internationalized, and welcome more South Korean companies to invest and do business in China.

The two sides should actively carry out exchanges at the sub-national level and in the fields of education, sports, media and youth, and continue to enhance mutual understanding and friendship between the two peoples, he said.

China is willing to strengthen communication and coordination with South Korea on the multilateral front and jointly promote peaceful development of the region and the world, Li added.