Wen Jiabao Meets with ROK President Lee Myung-bak
On January 10, 2012, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao met with ROK President Lee Myung-bak at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing.
Wen spoke positively of bilateral exchanges and cooperation since the establishment of diplomatic ties 20 years ago, which he said have contributed to the two countries' economic and social development as well as to peace and prosperity of Asia. In the face of profound changes taking place in international and regional situations, the two countries should continue to pursue a good-neighborly friendship, enhance strategic mutual trust, and better safeguard their common interests, so as to ensure the long-term, stable and sound development of bilateral ties, Premier Wen said.
It is of great realistic and strategic significance to deepen east Asian economic integration, which is also facing good conditions, Wen said. He added that China and the ROK should grasp this opportunity, make closer communication and coordination, start negotiations on a bilateral free-trade agreement as soon as possible, and start negotiations with Japan on a trilateral free-trade deal within the year, so as to jointly promote the process of creating a free-trade area between the three countries and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Lee said leaders of the ROK and China share deep mutual trust. The ROK-China relations, which have a good basis and feature fruitful exchanges and cooperation, are facing better prospects in the future. Lee echoed Wen, saying that it is in the interests of both sides to sign a free-trade pact and promote east Asian cooperation, and the ROK will work toward this goal with China.
Wen and Lee also held a candid, in-depth discussion on the security situation in northeast Asia.