China Keen to Hasten Free-Trade Talks With South Korea


China is keen to accelerate talks on a bilateral free trade agreement with South Korea as it looks to team up on high-tech manufacturing, big data and the green economy.

That’s according to Chinese President Xi Jinping who spoke with South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol at the G20 summit in Indonesia, state television CCTV reported.

The two leaders were holding their first face-to-face talks on the sidelines of the summit in Bali.

Mr Xi stressed the importance of ensuring “safe, stable, and smooth global supply chains” as well as opposing the “politicisation of economic cooperation” and the “broadening of security”, according to CCTV.

The “broadening of security” is a phrase that Beijing has used when criticising the United States and its allies for blocking economic deals involving China due to national security concerns.

South Korea is an important source of high-tech products for China.

Mr Yoon, meanwhile, expressed hopes for a mutually beneficial, mature relationship with China, South Korea reported.

The South Korean leader said he hoped for greater cooperation to rein in North Korea’s nuclear and missile development, and to tackle regional and global issues including climate change.

Mr Xi told Mr Yoon that the two countries’ relationship is important, according to the report.

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