On August 17, 2012, Premier Wen Jiabao met in Ziguangge, Zhongnanhai with a DPRK delegation of the joint steering committee for developing and managing the Rason Economic and Trade Zone and the Hwanggumphyong and Wihwa Islands Economic Zone in the DPRK. The delegation was headed by Jang Song Thaek, chief of the central administrative department of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK), a member of the WPK Political Bureau and vice-chairman of the National Defense Commission.
Wen said the China-DPRK friendship is valuable treasure of both sides. The Chinese government would continue to push bilateral ties forward, support DPRK to improve its economy and people's well-being. He is confident the country will also make progress in national development.
Wen said in recent years, the economic and trade cooperation between China and the DPRK has achieved positive results. Wen said both sides should give priority to developing and managing the zones as well as implement the consensus reached by the joint steering committee. The premier said the two governments should strengthen the leadership and planning of the cooperation on the zones, improving laws and regulations; encourage relevant regions for active participation with close coordination; and let the market play its role creating favorable conditions for land and tax. He called on the committee to encourage businesses to invest in the zones and help enterprises solve their problems, and improve customs and quality inspection services to help with bilateral cooperation. China is willing to make joint efforts with the DPRK to well develop and manage the two economic zones and push economic and trade cooperation between China and the DPRK to a higher level.
Jang said Kim Jong Un, top leader of DPRK, attached importance to the bilateral relations, believing the profound friendship will be passed on from generation to generation. The cooperation on the two economic zones has entered a substantive stage. The DPRK is willing to closely cooperate with China to accelerate relevant efforts and push forward cooperation in developing economic zones.