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KOR

Minister

[Incumbent] Opening Remarks by H.E. Cho Tae-yul Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea at the Korea-China Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (May 13, 2024)

Date
2024-05-14
Hit
1743

Opening Remarks by H.E. Cho Tae-yul

Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea

at the Korea-China Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (May 13, 2024)


I am pleased to have this face-to-face meeting with you, Minister Wang, for the first time since our phone conversation in February after I took office as minister.


I also thank you for taking the time from your busy schedule to extend such warm hospitality.


My previous visit to Beijing took place less than a year ago in August of last year, when I attended the "Korea-China High-Level Leaders Forum" as a private citizen last August.


This visit is particularly significant as it is the first visit by a Korean foreign minister to Beijing since the COVID-19 pandemic and comes just ahead of the Korea-Japan-China summit.


This should not be just a "visit for the sake of visiting," but should mark the first step paving the way for a step-by-step advancement of Korea-China relations by unraveling tangled threads between our two countries.


It is also important for our two countries to work together not only on our bilateral relationship but also on addressing common challenges, as we face a wide range of regional and global challenges, such as North Korea's continued provocations, various geopolitical conflicts, and disruptions to the global supply chain.


This is consistent with the common interests of both our countries and our peoples and is in line with international expectations. The main purpose of my visit to China is to solidify our shared determination and confidence to this end, and to flesh out directions for future cooperation.


The Korean government, having consistently attached importance to the Korea-China relationship, intends to continue developing the Korea-China strategic cooperative partnership in a more healthy and mature direction based on mutual respect, reciprocity, and common interests, and hopes to work closely with the Chinese side to achieve this goal.


It is important for both sides, rather than just one side alone, to pull our weight together if we are to advance the bilateral relationship between our two countries.  Even if there are difficulties, we must carefully manage the situation so that our differences do not escalate into conflict, and we must continue to build momentum for cooperation.


We do not perceive or manage our foreign relations as a zero-sum game. As a democratic nation, we are guided by clear principles and standards as we engage in cooperation with other countries with a sense of balance on a case-by-case and issue-by-issue basis.  


To open a new era of Korea-China cooperation, more energy needs to be invested in building a foundation for sustained development through enhanced mutual confidence, rather than focusing on speed and scale.


In order to improve mutual perceptions of our peoples toward each other, which have deteriorated in recent years, we need to work to expand common ground by being understanding and considerate, putting ourselves in the other’s shoes while acknowledging our differences.


In addition, it is important to minimize constraints on the bilateral relationship that stem from changes in the geopolitical environment and to focus on cooperation rather than conflict, thereby steadily making incremental progress.


I look forward to having a sincere and in-depth conversation with you today, Minister Wang, on not just our bilateral relations, but also major regional and international issues of mutual interest, including the situation on the Korean Peninsula.