, SEOUL, Mar 26 – Chinese President Hu Jintao met South Korean President Lee Myung-bak on Monday in Seoul to discuss bilateral ties and other issues of common concern.
The two leaders are meeting on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit slated Monday and Tuesday in Seoul.
In his remarks at the start of the meeting, President Hu wished the Summit a great success.
He noted that since the two countries established diplomatic ties 20 years ago, the two sides have conducted smooth communications and exchanges.
Over the past 20 years, the bilateral economic and trade cooperation have been continuously expanded, people-to-people exchanges and cooperation in other areas have increasingly flourished, and the two sides have also kept close communications and coordination on multilateral issues, said Hu.
This is the tenth meeting between the two leaders over the past four years and the second between them this year. In January, the South Korean president visited China and held talks with President Hu on the development of bilateral ties.
Hu also said President Lee’s January visit to China was a good start to the Sino-South Korean relations this year.
For his part, Lee expressed his thanks to President Hu for his participation in the Nuclear Security Summit, saying that China had played an important role in making the summit a great success.
He said that relations between the two countries have greatly improved since they established diplomatic ties 20 years ago.
Since the two sides established the strategic cooperative partnership in 2008, bilateral cooperation in economy, trade and various other spheres has rapidly developed, he noted.
While stressing that there was huge potential for bilateral pragmatic cooperation in more areas, the South Korean leader said that the further development of relations between South Korea and China would contribute greatly to the maintenance of peace in Northeast Asia and the whole world.
Lee also expressed his belief that the pending issues and disputes between the two sides could be overcome through cooperation.
The past 20 years have seen expanding cooperation and exchanges between China and South Korea in areas such as politics, trade and culture, as well as good communication and coordination on international and regional affairs.
In 2011, two-way trade between the two countries was recorded at 245.6 billion US dollars, an increase of 18 percent over the previous year.
The two countries are making joint efforts for the realization of bilateral trade of 300 billion US dollars in 2015.