China is ready to strengthen communication and coordination with South Korea and push forward the docking of the Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) with South Korea’s development strategies, visiting Chinese State Councillor & Foreign Minister Wang Yi said.

Minister Wang made the remarks on Wednesday during his visit to South Korea while meeting with Lee Hae-chan, leader of South Korea’s ruling Democratic Party and the Country’s former Prime Minister.

Wang said that China and South Korea are close neighbours and important partners. Under the guidance of the leaders of the two countries, bilateral relations have maintained a momentum of development.

“It is the shared wish of the peoples of the two countries to promote the sustained, healthy and stable development of the China-South Korea strategic cooperative partnership,” Wang said.

China is willing to work with South Korea to actively explore third-party cooperation, accelerate the second-phase negotiations of the China-South Korea free trade agreement, and push for new results in the two countries’ pragmatic cooperation, Wang said.

At the same time, the two sides should insist on treating each other with sincerity, respect each other’s core interests and major concerns, properly handle sensitive issues that have a bearing on the healthy development of China-South Korea relations, and maintain the correct direction in the development of bilateral relations, Wang said, adding that he hopes South Korea’s political circles can play a positive role in this regard.

Lee, for his part, said that all sectors of South Korea attach great importance to South Korea-China relations. They are optimistic about China’s development and the prospects of bilateral cooperation, and are committed to pushing bilateral relations to a higher level.

As the ruling party, the Democratic Party is willing to make greater efforts to this end. The two also exchanged views on promoting the political settlement of the Korean Peninsula Issue.