"South Korea and China have witnessed an unprecedented expansion of bilateral ties over the years since they forged diplomatic relations," South Korean Prime Minister Han Seung-so said in Seoul Friday.
In an exclusive interview with Xinhua, the prime minister, who will attend the opening ceremony of the Beijing Paralympics Saturday, spoke highly of the ever-increasing cooperation and exchanges in various fields between China and South Korea.
"The cooperation between the two nations has been rapidly expanding in politics, culture, economy and social aspects in a very short period of time as the two sides only forged diplomatic ties 16 years ago," said the prime minister.
Currently, more than 4 million South Koreans visit China each year and the number of South Koreans who are engaged in Chinese language learning is also growing swiftly, Han pointed out.
"All these facts demonstrate our high attention and friendship toward the Chinese people," he said.
Through such people-to-people communications, the two countries will deepen mutual understanding in culture, customs, economy, society and politics, he added.
The prime minister also highlighted the significance of high-level dialogue between South Korea and China, adding the two sides inked a series of agreements on all-round cooperation in late August when Chinese President Hu Jintao visited South Korea.
"Frequent high-level exchanges between the two sides will not only deepen their friendship and mutual trust but will also facilitate their people-to-people exchanges," said the prime minister.
"I believe that the exchanges in high-level visits between South Korea and China will lay a solid foundation for the development of their bilateral relations," he added.
The prime minister noted that the leaders of South Korea and China agreed in May to elevate their bilateral relations to a strategic cooperative partnership.
"It was a historic landmark in the South Korea-China relations," said Han, who planned to meet with his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao and other Chinese leaders during his stay in Beijing.
During their meetings, Han said that he and the Chinese leaders will try to seek approaches to expand their cooperation in various aspects.