World / Asia-Pacific

China, South Korea pledge to accelerate FTA talks

(Xinhua) Updated: 2012-11-19 17:33

PHNOM PENH - China and South Korea pledged on Monday to speed up their Free Trade Area (FTA) negotiations.

"The two sides should accelerate bilateral FTA negotiations to reach consensus at an early date and make joint efforts to provide a fair, open and transparent environment for enterprises," Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said at a meeting with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak.

Wen said he believed trade between China and South Korea, which stood at $220.6 billion in 2011, will meet the goal of 300 billion dollars by 2015.

The two countries announced the beginning of FTA negotiations in May.

Wen and Lee are in Phnom Penh to attend a series of meetings of East Asian leaders.

For his part, Lee said his country highly appreciates China's growth amid slowdown of the global economy. South Korea hopes to boost cooperation with China and looks forward to the FTA to increase bilateral trade, Lee said.

Lee also voiced commitment to regional cooperation and his opposition to protectionism.

Noting the complicated global and regional situation, Wen said enhancing China-South Korea cooperation is significant for the two countries' economic growth as well as the recovery of the global economy.

China will continue to treat its relations with South Korea from a strategic prospective, maintain high-level exchanges and enhance mutual trust to jointly make progress in cooperation in a variety of areas, Wen said.

During the meeting, Lee congratulated China on the success of the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China.

Lee said the South Korean government looks forward to working closely with the new generation of Chinese leaders to strengthen the strategic partnership of cooperation between the two countries.

On the Korean Peninsular situation, Wen said it is the common wish of all parties concerned to safeguard peace and ease tensions.

China supports South Korea and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea in their efforts to improve bilateral ties and hopes all related sides could maintain dialogue and contact, and show more goodwill to create conditions for the alleviation of the situation on the peninsular and the resumption of the six-party talks.

China will, as always, play a constructive role in the realization of permanent peace and security on the peninsular as well as in the region, Wen said.

Lee briefed Wen on the South Korean stance on the peninsular situation and said that his country attaches importance to and appreciates China's role, and will maintain communication and coordination with China on the issue.

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