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Park ready to charm China


13:19, June 27, 2013

With her keen interest in Chinese philosophy and her self-taught capacity for Mandarin, Republic of Korea President Park Geun-hye is set to charm China and bring the two countries even closer together.

Preparations started months ago for Park's visit, which will take her to the ancient city of Xi'an in Shaanxi province after her summit with President Xi Jinping in Beijing. She is also set to make a speech at Tsinghua University, which is expected to be delivered entirely in Mandarin.

"Park is paying particular attention to this visit and the ROK's relationship with China. In her first few months as president, bilateral relations have been developing a good momentum," said Wang Junsheng, a researcher on East Asia studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

At the beginning of May, Park set up an "unprecedented" special working group of more than 60 members to prepare for the visit. They include government officials from the ROK's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Ministry of Education, as well as university professors and fellows from national research institutions.

Park spent last weekend preparing for her meeting with Xi, confirming the list of delegates and preparing her speech in Chinese, according to Seoul's Chosun Ilbo newspaper.

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