Top legislator stresses ties with ROK

Nations urged to conclude 2nd phase of free trade agreement talks at early date

Li Zhanshu, chairman of China's National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee, meets with South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol in Seoul, South Korea, Sept 16, 2022. Li paid an official goodwill visit to South Korea from Thursday to Saturday, at the invitation of South Korea's National Assembly Speaker Kim Jin-pyo. (PHOTO / XINHUA)

Beijing is ready to work with Seoul in stepping up communication, staying clear of disruptions, focusing on cooperation and promoting the long-term steady development of bilateral relations, China's top legislator said during a goodwill visit to the Republic of Korea.

Li Zhanshu, chairman of the National People's Congress Standing Committee, highlighted the need for heightened cooperation and further alignment in development strategies during the three-day visit to the ROK, which concluded on Saturday.

During talks with ROK President Yoon Suk-yeol, Li stressed that economic and trade cooperation is an important highlight of bilateral relations.

The two countries should conclude the second phase of China-ROK free trade agreement negotiations at an early date, ensure the security and stability of industrial and supply chains, and jointly uphold the rules-based free trade system, he said.

The top legislator underscored the friendly feelings between the two peoples as the basis for the development of bilateral ties, calling on the two countries to further strengthen exchanges between people, media and think tanks to enhance mutual understanding and friendship between the two peoples.

He also stressed that properly handling sensitive issues is crucial to ensuring the healthy and steady development of bilateral relations.

Beijing is ready to work with Seoul to enhance communication and coordination on major regional and global issues and jointly contribute to regional and global peace, stability, development and progress, Li said.

The ROK president recalled the messages he exchanged with President Xi Jinping on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations, saying that the two countries have reaffirmed the commitment to further developing bilateral ties in the next 30 years.

He expressed hope that both countries can strengthen high-level exchanges as well as dialogue and communication at all levels, adhere to win-win cooperation, expand common interests and enable more concrete outcomes from bilateral relations.

It is important for the two nations to enhance friendship between the two peoples, especially among the younger generation, conduct closer cultural and sports exchanges and cooperate closely on international and regional affairs, in order to work toward greater progress in bilateral relations over the next 30 years, he said.

During talks with Kim Jin-pyo, speaker of the ROK National Assembly, Li said China's NPC is willing to work with the ROK National Assembly in promoting pragmatic cooperation in various fields and pushing for the sustained, healthy and steady development of bilateral relations.

Both countries should make good use of the regular exchange mechanism, enhance its relevance and effectiveness, and provide legal guarantees for deepening mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields, he said.

Kim said the ROK National Assembly is willing to step up exchanges with China's NPC and make positive contributions to promoting bilateral economic and trade cooperation, ensuring the security of industry and supply chains and protecting the environment, and responding to climate change.

The two sides also exchanged views on the Korean Peninsula situation.