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Xi says ready to announce China-S. Korea Year of Cultural Exchanges with Moon

Source: Xinhua Updated: 2021-01-27

BEIJING -- Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Tuesday that he stands ready to make a joint announcement with his South Korean counterpart, Moon Jae-in, on an official launch of the China-South Korea Year of Cultural Exchanges.

Xi made the remarks in a telephone conversation with Moon. During their conversation, Moon wished Xi and the Chinese people a happy New Year, and Xi extended the same wishes to Moon and the South Korean people.

Since 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic and transformations rarely seen in a century have become interwoven with one another, and the international and regional situation has undergone profound changes, Xi noted.

China and South Korea have stuck together through thick and thin, and have joined hands to promote exchanges and cooperation in various fields, which have yielded fruitful results, Xi said, adding that both countries have especially put forward effective institutional arrangements and set an example of cooperation in fighting the pandemic, which fully demonstrates the high level of the China-South Korea strategic cooperative partnership.

The two sides should continue to make good use of the cooperation mechanism of joint prevention and control as well as "fast lanes," so as to facilitate the epidemic prevention and control and economic development of the two countries, and to help boost regional and global anti-pandemic cooperation, Xi said.

The year of 2022 will mark the 30th anniversary of China-South Korea diplomatic relations, which will embrace new opportunities for deeper development, Xi said.

Xi also said he hopes both countries make good use of the platform of the committee for future development of China-South Korea relations, review the achievements of bilateral ties over the past 30 years, plan for future development, enhance friendship between the two peoples, and lift the China-South Korea strategic cooperative partnership to a new level.

China and South Korea are important cooperative partners, Xi stressed, adding that the two-way trade last year managed to grow amid broad downward pressures, demonstrating the complementarity and great potential in bilateral cooperation.

Xi said he hopes that the two sides can earnestly implement the consensus reached on speeding up the alignment of development strategies of the two countries and deepening bilateral cooperation in key areas, so as to continuously expand mutually beneficial cooperation and promote high-quality integrated cooperation.

He said that the two sides should accelerate the completion of the second-phase negotiations on the free trade agreement between the two countries, so as to put into effect the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership at an early date and speed up the construction of the China-Japan-South Korea free trade area.

China stands ready to strengthen coordination with South Korea on international affairs, and to jointly contribute to safeguarding multilateralism and free trade, Xi added.

For his part, Moon expressed his heartfelt congratulations as the Communist Party of China is going to mark its 100th anniversary this year, saying that under the strong leadership of President Xi, China has been successful in the fight against the epidemic and has become the world's only major economy that has achieved positive economic growth.

He also said that with China's international status and influence rising day by day, the country is taking important steps towards achieving the second centenary goal, and he is very pleased to announce with Xi the launch of the South Korea-China Year of Cultural Exchanges as the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries approaches.

South Korea and China have strengthened their friendship and mutual trust through joint efforts to fight the epidemic, Moon said, adding that South Korea is willing to have close exchanges with China, deepen friendship between the two people, and continue to promote cooperation in various fields such as anti-epidemic, economy and trade, culture and education.

He also said that South Korea appreciates China's leadership in dealing with climate change and is willing to maintain communication and coordination with China on issues such as climate change and sustainable development.