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Vice Foreign Minister Qin Gang Attends the 8th China-ROK Public Diplomacy Forum

2020/12/08

On December 8, 2020, Vice Foreign Minister Qin Gang attended and addressed the opening ceremony of the 8th China-ROK Public Diplomacy Forum.

Qin Gang said, as neighbors, China and the Republic of Korea (ROK) share the same oriental values and have a long tradition of friendly exchanges and mutual assistance between the two peoples. In recent years, under the strategic guidance of the two heads of state, China and ROK have continuously strengthened the strategic partnership, seen fruitful exchanges and cooperation in various fields and forged a true community of interests and development.

Qin Gang noted, the two countries looked out for and helped each other through the ravaging pandemic. Sayings like "China's difficulties are our difficulties" and "Great distance cannot separate us, we all live in a united world" were so warm-hearted. The two countries were among the first to establish a joint prevention and control mechanism, set up "fast tracks" for flow of people and cooperate in the resumption of work and production, vividly interpreting the concept of a community with a shared future for mankind, setting a successful model for international cooperation against COVID-19, and injecting strong impetus into regional and global economic recovery. Looking into the post-pandemic era, China and ROK will embrace broad prospects for development. The two sides should further build consensus, remove distractions and push bilateral relations to a new level, so that the two countries will become good partners toward common development, regional peace, Asian revitalization and world prosperity.

Qin Gang made three proposals for strengthening China-ROK exchanges and cooperation in public diplomacy. The first is to strengthen the top-level design. Guided by the important consensus of the two heads of state, and taking the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations as a good opportunity, China and ROK should strengthen design and planning, gather more positive energy to support China-ROK friendship, provide more intellectual support and explore more paths for deepening the integration of the interests of the two countries, promoting the connectivity of the two countries' development strategies, building a Northeast Asia cooperation mechanism for health care and pandemic prevention, and maintaining regional peace and security. The second is to facilitate pragmatic cooperation. China and ROK should fully mobilize the enthusiasm of local governments, enterprises and private sectors in both countries, tap new opportunities brought by China's new development paradigm, speed up the second phase of the China-ROK Free Trade Agreement talks based on the successful signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), intensify cooperation in 5G networks, digital economy, artificial intelligence, urban rail transit and other fields, and actively carry out major cooperation projects such as the China-ROK (Changchun) International Cooperation Demonstration Zone, so as to bring more benefits to the two peoples through pragmatic cooperation. The third is to enhance people-to-people connectivity. The precious friendship between China and ROK needs to be jointly maintained and promoted by people from all walks of life on both sides. China and ROK should further deepen the media exchanges so that the media outlets could report each other truthfully, comprehensively and objectively. Both sides should take the 2022 Winter Olympics in China and the 2024 Winter Youth Olympics in ROK as an opportunity to strengthen exchanges between the two peoples, especially the youths, and enhance mutual understanding and friendship.

The China-ROK Public Diplomacy Forum was hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea, and organized by the China Public Diplomacy Association (CPDA) and the Korea Foundation (KF). CPDA President Wu Hailong, Ambassador for Public Diplomacy at the ROK Ministry of Foreign Affairs Chang Jae-bok and KF President Lee Geun attended and addressed the Forum. Representatives from governments, think tanks, media outlets, enterprises, non-government organizations and the public of the two countries attended the Forum and made in-depth discussions mainly on "facilitating comprehensive cooperation and exchanges between China and ROK in the post-pandemic era".

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