News / Economy

China, South Korea Expand Economic Ties

Chinese President Xi Jinping, right, and South Korean President Park Geun-hye, left, greet children at the Presidential Blue House in Seoul, South Korea, July 3, 2014.
Chinese President Xi Jinping, right, and South Korean President Park Geun-hye, left, greet children at the Presidential Blue House in Seoul, South Korea, July 3, 2014.
VOA News

China and South Korea agreed to expand economic ties and reaffirmed their commitment to a denuclearized Korean peninsula, as Chinese President Xi Jinping began a state visit to Seoul.

At a joint news briefing with Xi, South Korean President Park Geun-hye said Seoul and Beijing will work to complete a long-negotiated free trade agreement by the end of this year.

Seoul's finance ministry also said the two sides agreed to introduce direct trading between the South Korean won and the Chinese yuan, a measure that will expand the use of China's currency.

The decision means the yuan joins the dollar as the only currency directly convertible with the won.

Park also said she agreed with Xi that the Korean peninsula should be denuclearized and that the two leaders "resolutely" oppose further nuclear tests by North Korea.

"Above all, in the current situation, where North Korea once again launched its missile and maintained its stance of carrying out simultaneous development of its nuclear capability and economy, President Xi's visit to South Korea will be a clear message for North Korea's denuclearization, and peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula," Park said.

Xi's visit is expected to be dominated by concerns over North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programs. The trip is seen by many as a snub to North Korea, Beijing's historical ally.

In the past week, the North has fired several short-range rockets off its east coast, in what some view as a sign Pyongyang is unhappy with Xi's visit.

His trip marks the first time a Chinese president has visited South Korea before North Korea and the fifth time Park and Xi have met since they took office.

Xi has not yet met North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who took power in 2011.

Kang Jun-young, a professor at Seoul's Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, told VOA the trip is also an opportunity for China to bring South Korea closer into its sphere of influence and thereby alienate Japan.

If China is to resist the United States’ rebalancing policy in Asia, he said, it must “curb Japan – if China can work with South Korea, which is a victim of Japan’s imperialism. 

“Of course, South Korea must keep amicable relations with China,” Kang added, “but we also cannot go too much to China’s side because … of an alliance among South Korea, the United States and Japan."

Before the trip, China's Communist Party-run Global Times hailed South Korea as an "exemplar of good neighbor relations." The editorial said ties have been "particularly thriving" amid what it called an "intricate and complex" situation in Northeast Asia.

South Korea, along with its allies in Washington, have been pushing China to apply more pressure on North Korea to abandon its pursuit of nuclear weapons.

In recent years, Beijing has gone along with expanded U.N. sanctions against the North. But it has been reluctant to publicly make any statements that would upset Pyongyang, instead calling for the whole Korean peninsula to be denuclearized.

VOA Seoul bureau producer Youmi Kim contributed to this report.

Xi Jinping visits Seoul

  • China's President Xi Jinping and his South Korean counterpart Park Geun-hye attend a signing ceremony after a summit meeting at the Blue House in Seoul, July 3, 2014.
  • Chinese President Xi Jinping listens as his South Korean counterpart Park Geun-hye speaks during their joint news conference at the presidential house in Seoul, July 3, 2014.
  • Chinese President Xi Jinping and South Korean President Park Geun-hye greet children waving the two countries' national flags during a welcoming ceremony at the presidential Blue House in Seoul, July 3, 2014.
  • Conservative activists shout during a rally welcoming Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to South Korea, near the Chinese Embassy in Seoul, South Korea, July 2, 2014.
  • North Korean defectors and South Korean Christians protest near the Chinese Embassy in Seoul ahead of Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to the city, June 2, 2014.


You May Like

Video Getting to Zero AIDS Infections

More than 35 million people around the world are infected with HIV, a disease that is both preventable and treatable

Children, Childhoods Lost in European Refugee Crisis

According to UNICEF, 190,000 children applied for political asylum in Europe in the first 9 months of this year - twice as many as last year

What Happened When I Landed in Antarctica

Refael Klein chronicles what it's like to visit one of the coldest, most desolate places on Earth

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: youngthing from: nowhere
July 03, 2014 11:27 PM
At 8 am on July 3rd, a Vietnamese fishing boat named QNg 94912 TS with six fishermen was captured by Chinese navy. This incident occured while QNg 94912 TS was fishing on its traditional fishing ground and in territorial water of Vietnam. At that time, QNg 44158 TS was fishing nearby, witnessed the incident and called relatives of the victims. Vietnam authorities are in verifying the info.

China will be a good friend of South Korea??? Let's look at China friend in the North. China gave North Korea nothing but poor and slavery.
In Response

by: Wing from: Hong Kong
July 05, 2014 4:07 AM
The comment from youngthing indicates that he is an ignor! North Korea depends on China so much. If the Chinese stops financial aid and food aid to them to them, they are starving.

Equally true if Vietnam does not have a financial partner like China you are also starving.

by: Sam from: California
July 03, 2014 10:34 AM
What a joke. South Koreans are the only fools trusting China right now. Another country for china to take jobs and resources from. Maybe US should get stop supporting SK if they love China so much. China will now control both north and South Korea. Just what the Chinese wanted.
In Response

by: Wing from: Hong Kong
July 05, 2014 4:29 AM

Let's be realistic! American's strength and influence are deteriorating. You should welcome the Chinese involvement to control the North Korea and promoting peace.

by: jonathan huang from: canada
July 03, 2014 9:03 AM
good job China and Korea!
we brothers should work together even closer to build a stable and prosperous Asia.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
With HIV, Can We Get to Zero?i
Carol Pearson
November 29, 2015 1:23 PM
The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Getting to Zero." The U.N. says new HIV infections have been reduced by 35 percent since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths are down by 42 percent since the peak in 2004. VOA's Carol Pearson takes a look at what it might take to actually have an AIDS-free generation.

Video With HIV, Can We Get to Zero?

The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Getting to Zero." The U.N. says new HIV infections have been reduced by 35 percent since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths are down by 42 percent since the peak in 2004. VOA's Carol Pearson takes a look at what it might take to actually have an AIDS-free generation.

Video Political Motives Seen Behind Cancelled Cambodian Water Festival

For the fourth time in the five years since more than 350 people were killed in a stampede at Cambodia’s annual water festival, authorities canceled the event this year. Officials blamed environmental reasons as the cause, but many see it as fallout from rising political tensions with a fresh wave of ruling party intimidation against the opposition. David Boyle and Kimlong Meng report from Phnom Penh.

Video African Circus Gives At-Risk Youth a 2nd Chance

Ethiopia hosted the first African Circus Arts Festival this past weekend with performers from seven different African countries. Most of the performers are youngsters coming form challenging backgrounds who say the circus gave them a second chance.

Video US Lawmakers Brace for End-of-Year Battles

U.S. lawmakers are returning to Washington for Congress’ final working weeks of the year. And, as VOA's Michael Bowman reports, a full slate of legislative business awaits them, from keeping the federal government open to resolving a battle with the White House over the admittance of Syrian refugees.

Video Taiwan Looks for Role in South China Sea Dispute

The Taiwanese government is one of several that claims territory in the hotly contested South China Sea, but Taipei has long been sidelined in the dispute, overshadowed by China. Now, as the Philippines challenges Beijing’s claims in an international court at The Hague, Taipei is looking to publicly assert its claims. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

Video After Terrorist Attacks, Support for Refugees Fades

The terrorists who killed and injured almost 500 people around Paris this month are mostly French or Belgian nationals. But at least two apparently took advantage of Europe’s migrant crisis to sneak into the region. The discovery has hardened views about legitimate refugees, including those fleeing the same extremist violence that hit the French capital. Lisa Bryant has this report for VOA from the Paris suburb of Cergy-Pontoise

Video Syrian Refugees in US Express Concern for Those Left Behind

Syrian immigrants in the United States are concerned about the negative tide of public opinion and the politicians who want to block a U.S. plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. Zlatica Hoke reports many Americans are fighting to dispel suspicions linking refugees to terrorists.

Video Thais Send Security Concerns Down the River

As Thailand takes in the annual Loy Krathong festival, many ponder the country’s future and security. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai.

Video Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syria

Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

Video Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continues

One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs

World Currencies


Rates may not be current.