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Better China-ROK relations

2014-01-15 09:09 China Daily Web Editor: Wang Fan

At a news conference on Jan 6, President of the Republic of Korea Park Geun-hye said that relations between her country and China have become closer than ever, and she expressed the hope that the two sides will remain committed to improving the well-being of the two peoples and realizing peace and stability in Northeast Asia.

The good momentum in the development of relations between the two countries has served as a positive element amid the security instability caused by the rapidly evolving strategic landscape in Northeast Asia and the faltering denuclearization process on the Korean Peninsula.

In her visit to China in June last year, Park reached consensus with her Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on enriching China-ROK relations, and they issued the China-ROK Joint Statement for the Future and the Action Plan to Enrich China-ROK Strategic Cooperative Partnership, charting the course for the development of bilateral relations in the coming years.

From a historical perspective, China and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea have traditionally shared ties of friendship, and the ROK and the United States have maintained a military alliance. So the tensions on the Korean Peninsula and the hostility between Washington and Pyongyang have, to a certain degree, impeded the development of China-ROK relations. But despite this drag on strengthening political and security cooperation, the strong economic ties and their common interests in regional peace and stability have brought China and the ROK closer together in recent years.

Long gone are the Cold War days when China was inclined to engage with the DPRK and estrange itself from the ROK. Today, China is seeking friendly relations with the two peninsula countries based on mutual respect, mutual benefit and win-win outcomes. At a time when there is no quick fix to the peninsula issue and the DPRK's nuclear program, the deepening China-ROK ties carry significant weight in promoting peace and stability on the peninsula.

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