On the morning of August 17, 2012, Hu Jintao, General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and Chinese President, met at the Great Hall of the People 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.
China and the DPRK are friendly neighbors linked with waters and mountains, and their two peoples share a time-honored friendship, according to Hu. Hu said the CPC and Chinese government have always adopted a strategic and long-term perspective on developing China-DPRK relations. China is ready to work with the DPRK to earnestly implement important consensus reached between the two sides, maintain high-level contact, strengthen exchanges and cooperation and carry out close communication and cooperation on regional and international issues to lift their traditional friendly and cooperative relationship to a new level, Hu said. Hu said that recent years have seen rapid growth in China-DPRK trade and economic cooperation and remarkable results in cooperation on trade and investment. The president expressed a wish for both sides to fully use their own advantages by exploring new ways of cooperation, advancing cooperation and development of the economic zones, and fostering new growth points to benefit the people of the two countries.
Jang described the DPRK-China friendship as having been created and grown by the hands of older generations of leaders and having withstood the test of time. He said it is the staunch and unchangeable will of the WPK and DPRK government to carry on and develop the friendship. Jang added that the DPRK side is ready to work with the Chinese side to develop the two economic zones, further strengthening and growing the traditional friendship and cooperative relationship between the two countries and their ruling parties.
Wang Jiarui, head of the International Department of the CPC Central Committee, Minister in charge of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) Zhang Ping, Minister of Finance Xie Xuren, Minister of Commerce Chen Deming, Secretary of the CPC Provincial Committee of Liaoning Wang Min, Secretary of the CPC Provincial Committee of Jilin Sun Zhengcai and Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun attended the meeting.