Premier Li Keqiang visits economic innovation center in Gyeonggi province in the ROK. (Photo/Xinhua)
Chinese chess and kimchi, popular in both China and the Republic of Korea, are vehicles for better ties for the two countries, Premier Li Keqiang said on Monday as he wrapped up a three-day visit to Seoul. [Special coverage]
At a gathering in the ROK capital with youths from both countries, Li recalled his visit to the ROK as vice-premier in 2011, during which he watched young Chinese and Koreans making kimchi, a pickled cabbage dish, together.
"The ROK government has been hoping to export the traditional Korean food to China, and we are working on sanitary and quarantine standards for kimchi imports," Li said. "It won't be long before the famous fermented Korean dish will be served on the dining tables of the Chinese."
Additionally, he said, "Chinese chess is also popular in both China and the ROK, especially among the young generation."
He encouraged youths in China and the ROK to carry on the traditional friendship between the two nations, and to be even more cooperative and innovative than their predecessors.
"You're certain to create a better future than us," Li said.
During the three-day visit, the two countries reached consensus on a host of key issues, including building up synergies between their development strategies, enhancing cooperation in innovation and entrepreneurship, and exploring cooperation in production capacity in third-party markets.
When meeting with ROK Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn on Monday, Li said China and the ROK would better achieve mutual benefits and win-win results by building platforms for innovation cooperation. He said this could be done by jointly establishing an innovation park in China's southwestern city of Chengdu and by promoting cooperation between large, small and medium-sized enterprises of the two countries.
"One of the subregions in the park will be used to incubate young entrepreneurs," Li said.
Song Ziyu, a 21-year-old Chinese student in Seoul-based Hanyang University, is one such young entrepreneur. Song is running a tourism agency with fellow college students to provide a tailored service.
"I have seen the number of Chinese visitors ... significantly increase in recent months. We handled about 500 visitors last month. The market will continue to increase," he said. More than 10 million people from China and the ROK visited each other's country last year.
Huo Jianguo, former president of the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, said the research and innovation industry in the ROK is better developed than China's and could be used to push forward China's development.
"China's cooperation with the ROK is expanding from traditional sectors such as the manufacturing and service sector to other aspects," he said.