SEOUL, July 3 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Seoul Thursday for a two-day state visit to South Korea, his first trip to the Asian neighbor since he took office last year.
Xi is scheduled to hold talks with his South Korean counterpart Park Geun-hye and meet with National Assembly Speaker Chung Ui-hwa and Prime Minister Chung Hong-won.
He will also deliver a speech at Seoul National University and attend economic and trade events during his stay in South Korea.
The two countries are expected to issue a joint statement on bilateral relations and regional issues during Xi's visit. They will also sign a batch of deals on cooperation in economy, trade, finance, environment and consular affairs.
Xi and South Korean leaders will review the achievements in relations between the two countries and chart the course of bilateral ties. They will exchange views on enhancing political mutual trust, boosting exchanges and cooperation, strengthening coordination in international and regional affairs, and maintaining peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, in a bid to further enrich their strategic cooperative partnership, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin told reporters ahead of Xi's visit.
China and South Korea have witnessed rapid development in their relationship since the two countries forged diplomatic ties 22 years ago.
China has become South Korea's largest trading partner, largest market of exports, largest source of imports and largest destination of overseas investment, while South Korea was China's third-largest trading partner and fifth-largest source of foreign investment in 2013.
In addition, China and South Korea are each other's largest tourist destination country and largest source of overseas students.
China's two-way trade with South Korea totaled 274.25 billion U.S. dollars last year, indicating an annual increase of seven percent, statistics with China's General Administration of Customs showed. The figure amounts to South Korea's trade volume with the United States and Japan combined.
The two countries launched negotiations on a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) in May 2012. To date, 11 rounds of talks have been held.
The July 3-4 trip is Xi's first visit to South Korea as president but will be his fifth summit meeting with Park.
Park paid a state visit to China from June 27 to 30 last year, shortly after taking office.
The two heads of state also met each other ahead of the 21st informal economic leaders' meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation last October in Indonesia's resort island of Bali and on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit in the Netherlands in March.
Interview: Xi's visit to strengthen strategic cooperative partnership with S. Korea -- ambassador
SEOUL, July 2 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping's upcoming visit to South Korea will become an "important milestone" in the development of the two countries' strategic cooperative partnership, Chinese Ambassador Qiu Guohong has said.
At the invitation of his South Korean counterpart, Park Geun-hye, Xi kicks off a two-day state visit to the country Thursday. The visit will be Xi's first to South Korea since he took office last year. Full story
S.Korea says Xi, Park to discuss peninsula denuclearization, cooperation
SEOUL, July 2 (Xinhua) -- South Korea's senior presidential secretary said on Wednesday that visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping and South Korean President Park Geun-hye will talk about detailed measures on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula during their upcoming summit talks.
Ju Chul-ki, senior foreign affairs and security advisor to Park, told a press briefing that the two leaders will discuss detailed plans to push for the common goal of denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. Full story
Xinhua Insight: China-ROK relations their "best in history"
BEIJING, July 2 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping will pay a state visit to the Republic of Korea (ROK) from July 3 to 4. It is believed the visit will inject new vigor to bilateral ties.
"China-ROK relations are now at their best in history," said Qu Xing, head of the China Institute of International Studies. Full story
Xi's ROK visit to see new deals
BEIJING, July 1 (Xinhua) -- China and the Republic of Korea (ROK) will release a joint paper and sign cooperative documents covering the economy and trade, finance, the environment and consular affairs during President Xi Jinping's state visit to Seoul, a senior diplomat said on Tuesday.
China and the ROK will outline the future of their bilateral ties and exchange views on enhancing mutual trust and cooperation in international and regional affairs, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin told a press briefing ahead of Xi's visit on Thursday and Friday. Full story