|Chinese President Xi Jinping (1st R) meets with his South Korean counterpart Park Geun-hye (2nd L) in Noordwijk, the Netherlands, March 23, 2014. (Xinhua/Zhang Duo)|
NOORDWIJK, the Netherlands, March 23 -- Chinese President Xi Jinping and his counterpart of the Republic of Korea (ROK) Park Geun-hye have pledged enhanced cooperation between the two countries and exchanged views on the situation on the Korean Peninsula.
Xi, who is in the Netherlands for a state visit and the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague, said the Chinese and ROK people will benefit from enhanced cooperation between their countries, which are important neighbors to each other.
Both sides should maintain close high-level exchanges, speed up negotiations on the China-ROK free trade pact and reach an agreement at an early date, Xi said.
Xi also called on both sides to strengthen communication and coordination on major international and regional issues to safeguard common interests.
Xi thanked the ROK president for the planned transfer of the remains of Chinese soldiers killed in the Korean War back to China.
Park, for her part, hailed the successful cooperation between the two countries. She expressed gratitude for the establishment of a memorial by the Chinese side to commemorate Ahn Jung Geun, a Korean patriot who shot dead a top Japanese official in 1909 for the independence of his motherland and peace in East Asia, as well as for the Chinese side' ongoing construction of a memorial stone at the former barracks of the Korean Liberation Army in the northwestern Chinese city of Xi'an.
Park called for efforts to increase mutual visits by leaders of both countries, improve the mechanisms of the ROK-China strategic dialogue and the joint committee for cultural exchanges, and conclude the bilateral free trade agreement negotiations at an early date.
Park extended condolences over the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, which mysteriously disappeared en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing in the early hours of March 8, with 239 people, including 154 Chinese passengers, on board.
The two heads of state also exchanged views on the situation on the Korean Peninsula.
The situation has generally been eased so far this year and the South-North relationship improved, said Xi, adding China takes a positive attitude towards the trust-building process proposed by Park and hopes that the ROK and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) take a long-term perspective and constantly push forward the reconciliation and cooperation process, in a bid to achieve independent and peaceful reunification.
The Korean nuclear issue is complicated and all relevant parties should grasp the opportunity of the current eased situation on the Korean Peninsula for an early resumption of the six-party talks, Xi said.
Park thanked the Chinese side for its mediation efforts for peace and talks, which play an important role in improving the relations between the ROK and DPRK and promoting the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
The ROK is willing to maintain communication and coordination with China, she said.