The relations between the People's Republic of China and the Republic of Korea (the ROK) maintained the momentum of growth in 2010.
The two countries had frequent high-level exchanges. From 28 to 31 May, Premier Wen Jiabao paid a visit to the ROK and attended the Third China-Japan-ROK Leaders' Meeting in Chejudao. He had separate meetings and talks with President Lee Myung-bak, Speaker of the National Assembly Kim Hyong-o and Prime Minister Chung Un-Chan. The two sides had an in-depth exchange of views on China-ROK relations as well as international and regional issues of mutual interest and reached important agreement. From 27 to 28 November, State Councilor Dai Bingguo paid a visit to the ROK and had separate meetings with President Lee Myung-bak and Foreign Minister Kim Sung-Hwan. From 29 to 31 August, NPC Vice Chairwoman Chen Zhili visited the ROK for the fifth meeting of the China-ROK parliamentary regular exchange mechanism and had separate meetings with President Lee Myung-bak and Speaker of the National Assembly Park Hee-tae. From 5 to 7 May, Vice Foreign Minister Wang Guangya visited the ROK for the Second China-ROK Foreign Ministry High Level Strategic Dialogue.
On 30 April, President Hu Jintao met with President Lee Myung-bak who came to China for the opening ceremony of the Shanghai World Expo. From 17 to 19 March, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Yu Myung-hwan visited China. Premier Wen Jiabao, State Councilor Meng Jianzhu and Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi had separate meetings or talks with him.
The two sides stayed in contact on many international and multilateral occasions. On 27 June, President Hu Jintao met with President Lee Myung-bak on the sidelines of the Fourth G-20 Summit in Toronto. On 11 November, President Hu met with President Lee on the sidelines of the Fifth G-20 Summit in Seoul. On 5 October, Premier Wen Jiabao met with President Lee Myung-bak on the sidelines of the Tenth Asia-Europe Meeting in Brussels. On 17 January, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi met with Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Yu Myung-hwan during the Forum for East Asia-Latin America Cooperation (FEALAC) in Tokyo, Japan. On 25 May, Minister Yang met with Minister Yu on the sidelines of the China-Japan-ROK Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Gyeongju, the ROK. On 27 June, Minister Yang met with Minister Yu during the Fourth G-20 Summit in Toronto. On 28 October, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi met with Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Kim Sung-Hwan on the sidelines of the East Asia Summit in Hanoi, Vietnam.
The two countries enjoyed sound momentum of economic cooperation and trade. Bilateral business cooperation continued to deepen in scope and scale. China remained as the largest trading partner, export market, source of import and overseas investment destination of the ROK. The ROK was the third largest trading partner and the fourth largest source of foreign direct investment of China. The two sides officially announced the completion of the joint study on the China-ROK FTA involving government agencies, industries and the academia and agreed to launch the inter-governmental negotiation within the first half of 2011.
The two countries strengthened cultural and people-to-people exchanges. Leaders of the two countries designated the year 2010 as the "Visit China Year", which was also the year for the Shanghai World Expo. Taking this opportunity, the two sides increased visits and exchanges between delegations and personnel of all kinds. There were 17 Confucius Institutes and 4 Confucius Classrooms in the ROK. About 75,000 Chinese students studied in the ROK and around 68,000 students from the ROK studied in China, making the two countries each other's largest source of foreign students. The number of ROK nationals sitting for the Chinese Proficiency Test (HSK) accounted for over one half of the world's total. Youth exchanges were also scaled up.