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How to raise China-ROK ties to a new level (2)

(People's Daily Online)

14:25, June 28, 2013

South Korea is ideally placed to bring positive energy to the development of the Sino-U.S. new-model relationship. As Park Geun-hye observed in April when addressing the U.S. Congress: "Asia suffers from what I call "Asia's paradox" - the disconnect between growing economic interdependence on the one hand, and backward political and security cooperation on the other. How we manage this paradox - this will determine the shape of a new order in Asia."

China and South Korea, respectively a typical emerging nation and a typical mid-level developed country, can themselves establish a special new-model bilateral relationship. They can carry out strategic cooperation based on the mechanism of the G20 and East Asia, and lead the international order in a new direction which will be more conductive to the interests of emerging nations and mid-level developed countries.

To achieve this, we need to raise China-ROK relations to a new level. Bilateral ties have seen rapid development since the two countries established diplomatic relations on August 24, 1992: in 1998, China and South Korea set up a cooperative partnership to carry both countries forward into the 21 century; in 2003, the two sides extended this cooperative partnership to a much more comprehensive agreement; in 2008, a new strategic partnership was established.

If China and South Korea can successfully conclude a Free Trade Agreement, this will act as a good example in Northeast Asia and promote rapid progress towards the establishment of a broader FTA between South Korea, Japan and China.

China-ROK relations should face the future and the coming changes it will bring to the world with confidence. We sincerely hope both sides can add cooperation on security to their joint efforts on the economy, thereby bringing positive energy to the Northeast Asia and Asia-Pacific region as well as to the broader international community. Success in these endeavors can only be of benefit to the peoples of the two countries, and is a prerequisite for maintaining peace on the Korean Peninsula.

The author is a professor with the School of International Studies, Renmin University of China.

Read the Chinese version: 如何打造中韩关系升级版(望海楼)
Source: People's Daily Overseas Edition; Author: Wang Yiwei

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