On March 2, local time, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, who was visiting the ROK for annual regular inter- ministerial consultations, held talks with his South Korean counterpart Kim Sung-hwan.
Yang said the two countries have seen the all-round progress in their bilateral relations since the establishment of diplomatic ties 20 years ago, citing frequent high-level exchanges, enhanced political trust and cooperation in various fields including trade and economy. This year marks the "Year of China-ROK Friendly Exchanges" and bilateral ties face new opportunities for development. China has always attached great importance to development of China-ROK relations, Yang said, adding that China is willing to join hands with the ROK to maintain the growth momentum of bilateral ties, deepen economic and trade cooperation and expand humanities exchanges. The two countries should also strengthen communication and coordination in regional multilateral affairs, so as to expand common interests to more fields and continuously raise the level of the strategic cooperative partnership between the two sides, the Chinese minister said.
On the nuclear summit to be held in Seoul later this month, Yang said the meeting will help boost cooperation of the world's countries and enhance international nuclear security, adding that China is willing to work with South Korea to make the summit a success.
On his part, Kim said the ROK welcomes Chinese leader's attendance of the nuclear security summit and hopes China and other parties will make joint efforts to ensure its success. South Korea gives high priority to its ties with China. On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties, the ROK hopes to keep close communication, enhance mutual trust and strengthen multifaceted cooperation with China, so as to boost their strategic cooperative partnership and establish more mature and future- oriented bilateral relations.
With regard to illegal border crossers from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), the Chinese minister said that China has been handling relevant cases in accordance with domestic laws, international law and humanitarian principles, and he expressed the hope that South Korea could take seriously China's principled position and concerns.
During the meeting, the two ministers also exchanged views on major international and regional issues of common concern.