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China to work with ROK to enrich strategic cooperative partnership
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07:49, May 29, 2008

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China was ready to work with the Republic of Korea (ROK) to enrich the connotation of the bilateral strategic cooperative partnership, China's top leaders said here on Wednesday.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and top political advisor Jia Qinglin made the remarks in their meetings with ROK President Lee Myung-bak.

Wen first extended his appreciation for the assistance offered by the ROK government and people for relief efforts following the massive earthquake that hit China's Sichuan Province on May 12.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (R) shakes hands with Lee Myung-bak, president of the Republic of Korea (ROK) during their meeting in Beijing, capital of China, on May 28, 2008. Lee Myung-bak arrived in Beijing Tuesday afternoon, starting a four-day state visit to China.

China and ROK, as good neighbors and influential nations in the same region, should work together in current new situations to cope with challenges and safeguard common interests.

The two nations on Tuesday agreed to upgrade their "comprehensive and cooperative partnership" to "strategic cooperative partnership" during the summit talks between Chinese President Hu Jintao and his ROK counterpart Lee.

Wen said the establishment of the strategic cooperative partnership would help expand bilateral cooperation and promote the long-term stability and prosperity of northeast Asia.

China and ROK, with fruitful cooperation in economy and trade, still enjoy potential prospects in this area. The two nations should speed up the research and discussion on the establishment of a free trade zone, and make efforts to achieve win-win results, the premier said.

Wen said China welcomed ROK business to expand investment fields in China, and especially hoped that the ROK business would increase cooperation in China in the high tech industry and take active part in China's development drive in the western region and China's strategy to revitalize the country's northeast.

China would also encourage domestic companies to develop the market and make investment in the ROK, he noted.

Lee said the assistance offered to the earthquake-hit region indicated the ROK's sincerity as a friendly neighbor of China. The ROK side was ready to provide support to China within its capacity.

The president believed the Chinese people would be sure to win the battle against the disaster.

Lee said in a meeting with Jia Qinglin, National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) chairman, that he would visit the earthquake-hit region in the southwest Sichuan Province.

Jia Qinglin (R), chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, shakes hands with Lee Myung-bak, President of the Republic of Korea (ROK) during a meeting in Beijing, China, on May 28, 2008.

The president hoped the two nations would grasp the opportunity of establishing a strategic cooperative partnership to continue keeping high-level contacts and deepening cooperation in various fields.

Lee said he would attend the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Games in August.

He applauded China's efforts in pushing for six party talks in the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue and in safeguarding regional peace and stability.

Jia told Lee that the establishment of the strategic cooperative partnership between the two countries was of great importance to the further growth of bilateral ties.

China would work with the ROK to increase mutual trust, expand mutually-beneficial cooperation, promote cultural and youth exchange, safeguard regional peace and stability, in a bid to lift the bilateral ties into a new level, Jia said.

He added the CPPCC was ready to increase exchanges and cooperation with the ROK in effort to push forward the development of China-ROK relations.

Lee is here on his first state visit to China since taking office on February 25.

Source: Xinhua

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