China and South Korea should jointly uphold multilateralism, advocate free trade, and strive to build an open world economy, visiting Chinese State Councillor & Foreign Minister Wang Yi said here on Wednesday.

Wang made the remarks at a meeting with South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha during his two-day visit to South Korea.

At present unilateralism and protectionism are on the rise. China and South Korea should strengthen communication and coordination on the multilateral stage, jointly safeguard the core status of the United Nations, adhere to multilateralism, preserve free trade and devote to building an open world economy, Wang stressed.

China is ready to work with South Korea in planning the important high-level exchanges of the next phase so as to inject new vitality to bilateral relations, Wang said.

Both China and South Korea are the world’s important economies and have long been major trading partners to each other, said Wang, adding that China is willing to dovetail the Belt and Road Initiative with South Korea’s development plans and work together to explore third-party market cooperation.

China will work with the South Korea to work out the development plan 2021-2025 on China-South Korea economic and trade cooperation as soon as possible and accelerate the negotiations at the second phase of the China-South Korea free trade agreement.

Kang, for her part, said that South Korea attaches great importance to its relations and cooperation with China and supports multilateralism with the United Nations at its core.

The South Korean side is ready to work with the Chinese side to plan the high-level exchanges of the next phase, strengthen strategic communication, deepen cooperation and exchanges in a wide range of areas including trade, investment, culture, tourism and sports, in a bid to push the strategic cooperative partnership between the two sides to a new high, Kang said.

Both sides also exchanged views on the Korean Peninsula issue. Wang stressed that the important consensus reached at the meeting between the top leaders of the the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the United States in Singapore should be effectively implemented and that DPRK’s legitimate concerns should be considered and addressed.