Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's official visit to South Korea and Japan has expanded exchanges between China and the two countries and deepened the feelings of the peoples toward each other, Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing said on Friday.
Wen paid an official visit to South Korea and Japan from April 10 to 13. This is the first time a Chinese premier has visited the two countries in seven years.
Cultural exchanges between China and the two neighbors have enjoyed a long history and the affection between the peoples of China and the two countries is the basis of the ties between the countries, Li told Chinese reporters.
Premier Wen, who attended the opening ceremonies of the China-South Korea Exchange Year and the China-Japan Culture and Sports Exchange Year, hoped that cultural exchanges between China and the two countries become the bonds that promote the understanding and friendship between the peoples, Li said.
Wen viewed the exchanges between young people as the future of the relations between China and the two countries, Li said.
Wen met youth representatives from South Korea and China during his visit to South Korea, and held talks with Japanese students and played baseball with Japanese college students during his visit to Japan.
He also did morning exercises with South Korean and Japanese residents, visited a Japanese farmer's family and listened to their views on the development of bilateral ties.
The activities improved the understanding of China by the peoples of the two neighbors and enhanced their friendly attitudes to China, Li said.
The premier's sincere, easy-going and amiable style has deeply moved the peoples of the two countries and they sincerely hoped to understand China and continuously push forward bilateral ties, Li said.
During Wen's visit, the three countries also showed the willingness to work together to safeguard regional peace and stability, the Chinese foreign minister said.
On various occasions such as meetings and delivery of speeches, Premier Wen expounded China's path of peaceful development and the stand of building a harmonious world, saying these are China's longtime strategies and guidelines governing its foreign policy. He made it clear that China's development is an opportunity instead of a threat.
Wen pointed out that China, Japan and South Korea, as important East Asian countries, have common interests in safeguarding and promoting peace and stability in this region and bear important responsibility in this regard, Li said.
On the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, Wen stressed that denuclearization and creation of a new harmonious situation in Northeast Asia is the common goal of all relevant countries, Li said.
Wen told the leaders of the two countries that China is willing to work with South Korea and Japan to steadily push forward the process of the six-party talks and the denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula.
The leaders of South Korea and Japan praised China's active and important role in solving the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue and expressed their willingness to work with China to promote the process of the denuclearization and to safeguard peace and stability in Northeast Asia, Li said.
Wen's visit has strengthened mutual understanding, deepened cooperation and enhanced friendship between China and the two countries, Li added.