South Korea is one of China's important neighbors. Bilateral ties have witnessed a rapid development since the two countries forged diplomatic ties 19 years ago and particularly a strategic cooperative partnership in 2008. They will further thrive as both sides work hard to promote them.
Over the past 19 years, China-South Korea relations have developed fast in various fields, such as politics, economy and trade, science and technology and culture.
Close bilateral cooperation has vigorously boosted each other's social and economic development, brought real benefits to the two peoples and promoted peace and development in the Asia-Pacific region.
In recent years, the two countries have witnessed frequent high-level contacts and intensified strategic communications. Leaders of both countries highly value bilateral strategic cooperative partnership.
In April 2010, South Korean President Lee Myung-bak attended the opening ceremony of the Shanghai World Expo and held talks with Chinese President Hu Jintao.
In November 2010, President Hu visited South Korea and attended the G20 Seoul Summit, while Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao visited South Korea in May 2010 and attended the third China-Japan-South Korea summit.
Both countries are engaged in close economic and trade cooperation, with their interdependence increasing day by day. In 2010, bilateral trade volume totaled 207 billion U.S. dollars, surpassing the target of 200 billion dollars two years ahead of schedule. Meanwhile, a new target of 300 billion dollars was set for 2015.
Last year, China remained as South Korea's largest trade partner for the seventh year in a row, with bilateral trade value exceeding the combined total of South Korea's trade with the United States and Japan. Meanwhile, South Korea became China's third largest trade partner in the year.
In culture, education and tourism, exchanges between China and South Korea are diversified and further reinforced. A total of 130 pairs of sister cities have established between the two countries and more than 800 flights shuttle between the two countries each week. Last year, visitor flow between both countries exceeded 6 million.
In addition, some 68,000 South Korean students are currently studying in China, while more than 80,000 Chinese students are studying in South Korea.
On international affairs, the two countries maintain close coordination,share broad consensus and are working together to safeguard their common interests. China attaches great importance to peace and stability on the Korea Peninsula as well as in the region, for which China has made unremitting efforts. South Korea appreciates China's positive role in this regard.
China and South Korea will mark the 20th anniversary of their diplomatic ties next year. The rapid development of China-South Korea ties in the past 19 years has fully demonstrated the strategic value and significance of the friendly cooperation between the two countries. The China-South Korea ties are bound to have a broad prospect.