'China-S.Korean exchanges foundation for friendship'

Updated: 2007-04-11 09:12

SEOUL -- Visiting Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said on Tuesday that the personnel and cultural exchanges between China and South Korea are the foundation for their bilateral friendship.

"The cultural exchanges and trade links between China and South Korea have helped promote common development and they have become the solid foundation for our bilateral friendship," Wen said at the opening ceremony of the China-South Korea Exchange Year.

South Korean Prime Minister Han Duck-soo also attended the ceremony.

China and South Korea are more than neighbors and they are friends and partners, Wen said, adding that bilateral exchanges and cooperation in the past 15 years have been instrumental in maintaining regional stability and prosperity.

The China-South Korea Exchange Year would contribute to efforts to build a harmonious, prosperous and glorious future for bilateral relations, Wen said.

For his part, Han said China and South Korea have similar cultures and are complementary economically.

Since the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries 15 years ago, marked progress has been made in the development of bilateral relations in politics, culture, economy and other fields, he said.

Han expressed the hope that the China-South Korea Exchange Year will go down in history as a year of their bilateral friendship and cooperation.

Wen arrived here on Tuesday morning for his first ever visit as premier to South Korea. He will leave for Japan on Wednesday and is scheduled to conclude his two-nation tour on Friday.

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