Visiting Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Sunday urged the legislatures of China and South Korea to strengthen exchanges and cooperation to inject fresh vitality into the overall development of bilateral ties.[Special coverage]
Li, who is here for his first official visit to South Korea as premier, made the remarks during a meeting with Chung Ui-hwa, speaker of the South Korean National Assembly.
The visit, Li said, is aimed at promoting friendship, enhancing mutual trust, expanding exchanges and innovating on cooperation between China and South Korea, so as to better develop the two countries' strategic cooperative partnership.
Parliamentary cooperation is an important component of bilateral relations, and agreements and consensus reached between the two governments need the support of their legislative bodies, he noted.
The premier expressed his hope that the two sides will strengthen exchanges and cooperation in such areas as state governance, economic development and improvement of people's livelihood.
He also called on the South Korean parliament to play an irreplaceably important role in boosting cooperation between the two countries.
Chung, for his part, spoke highly of the fruitful talks Li and South Korean President Park Geun-hye held Saturday, and urged relevant departments of the two countries' governments to maintain institutionalized contact, implement the consensus and deepen bilateral cooperation.
Dovetailing the development strategies of South Korea and China will contribute to the stability and prosperity in Northeast Asia, he said, adding that his country is willing to work with China to carry on their profound traditional friendship and forge a lasting bond as good neighbors, good friends and good partners.
The South Korean parliament, he said, stands ready to play a positive role in promoting bilateral ties, and will endeavor to conclude domestic legislative procedures within this year over the South Korea-China free trade agreement (FTA).
China and South Korea inked the landmark FTA in June. Under the deal, South Korea will eliminate tariffs on 92 percent of all imports from China within 20 years after its implementation, while China is to abolish tariffs on 91 percent of all imported South Korean goods.
Li arrived in Seoul on Saturday for the ongoing three-day trip, which also includes a trilateral summit with Japanese and South Korean leaders later Sunday.