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.
Since diplomatic relations were established in 1992, bilateral ties have undergone positive and upward development with no major twists and turns, according to Qu.
"High-level official exchanges, economic and trade and people-to-people exchanges have all seen major progress over the past 22 years," Qu said.
China has become the ROK's largest trading partner, largest export destination and largest source of imports, while ROK is now the third-largest trading partner and fifth-largest source of foreign investment for China.
Both are the largest overseas tourist destination and source of foreign students for each other.
During his state visit, Xi will hold talks with his ROK counterpart Park Geun-hye to outline the future of bilateral ties and exchange views on enhancing mutual trust and cooperation in international and regional affairs.
Observers said it is quite rare in China's diplomatic arrangement that the president pays a state visit to only one country in an overseas trip.
"The trip, Xi's first visit to the ROK since he took office last year, could be seen as a return visit for ROK president Park's state visit to China in June 2013, demonstrating that China is attaching great importance to China-ROK ties," said Qu.
During Park's state visit, the two heads of state held talks in Beijing and pledged to boost cooperation and enhance their relations of strategic cooperation and partnership. The two sides issued a joint statement and an action plan to enhance the strategic partnership.
They also met each other ahead of the 21st informal economic leaders' meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation last October on Indonesia's resort island of Bali and on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit in the Netherlands in March.
"Such frequent exchanges are important and they are conducted on the basis of close cooperation between the two countries in economy, trade, cultural and people-to-people exchanges, their consensus on major issues in the region, as well as their shared understanding of the post-World War II order," Qu said.