|Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) meets with his South Korean counterpart Park Geun-hye in Bali, Indonesia, Oct. 7, 2013. (Xinhua/Pang Xinglei)
BALI, Indonesia, Oct. 7 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday urged China and South Korea to actively push forward the negotiations on a bilateral free trade agreement.
Xi made the remarks when talking with his South Korean counterpart, Park Geun-hye, ahead of the 21st informal economic leaders' meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) slated for Monday and Tuesday on Indonesia's resort island of Bali.
He pointed out that Park's state visit to China in June was of great significance, where the two countries reached extensive consensus on enriching and deepening their strategic cooperative partnership, and charted the future course of bilateral ties.
Bilateral ties enjoy a sound development momentum, Xi said, noting that China and South Korea have become important cooperation partners in various domains and set up regular dialogue mechanisms.
China stands ready to join hands with South Korea to enhance mutual understanding and trust, expand consensus and foster cooperation in the spirit of mutual respect, equal treatment, mutual benefits and win-win results, Xi said.
The Chinese president called on both sides to expand common interests to better serve the two peoples, and promote peace and development in the region.
He urged the two countries to maintain exchanges and consultations at various levels, and enhance communication and coordination.
The two sides should launch the joint committee mechanism on people-to people exchanges at an early date to bolster non-governmental friendship, Xi said.
Park, for her part, said South Korea-China ties took a new step following her visit to China in June.
South Korea is happy to see the significant consensus reached by the two leaders being carried out and both official and non-governmental exchanges increasingly active, said Park.
South Korea hopes to maintain high-level exchanges with China, strengthen cooperation in various fields, complete the bilateral free trade talks at an early date, and forcefully boost people-to-people exchanges, she said.
The two sides should maintain close coordination in international and regional affairs, said Park.
South Korea supports China in hosting the informal economic leaders' meeting of APEC next year, she added.