In 2013, the strategic and cooperative partnership between the People's Republic of China and the Republic of Korea (ROK) continued to develop and exchanges and cooperation in all areas further deepened.
The two countries had frequent high-level exchanges and enjoyed unimpeded communication at all levels. From 27 to 30 June, President Park Geun-hye paid a state visit to China. President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang and NPC Chairman Zhang Dejiang met or had talks with her respectively. President Xi Jinping stated that the Chinese side attached great importance to China-ROK relations and granted it an important place in China's overall foreign relations. China was ready to work with the ROK to make good plans for the long-term development of the bilateral relations and fully promote mutually beneficial cooperation in all areas. President Park stated that the bilateral relationship was at an important juncture of building on past achievements and working for a brighter future. The ROK was ready to strengthen its strategic and cooperative partnership with China to share dreams, seek common development and jointly promote peace and prosperity in Northeast Asia. The two sides issued the China- ROK Joint Statement for the Future and the Action Plan to Enrich China- ROK Strategic and Cooperative Partnership. The two countries also signed eight outcome documents related to economy and trade, finance, science and technology, energy conservation and marine science. In January, Kim Mu-seong, Special Envoy of President-elect Park Geun-hye, visited China. In April, Minister of Foreign Affairs Yun Byung-se visited China. In December, Speaker of the National Assembly Kang Chang-hee visited China and President Xi Jinping and NPC Chairman Zhang Dejiang met and had talks with him respectively.
In September, during the G20 Leaders' Meeting, President Xi Jinping met with President Park Geun-hye. In October, when attending the 21st APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting, President Xi Jinping held a bilateral meeting with President Park Geun-hye. In October, when attending the East Asia Summit meetings, Premier Li Keqiang held a bilateral meeting with President Park Geun-hye. In February, Liu Yandong, member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and State Councilor, attended the inauguration ceremony of the new ROK President Park Geunhye as the Special Envoy of President Hu Jintao and General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee Xi Jinping. In November, State Councilor Yang Jiechi visited the ROK. In January, Special Envoy of the Chinese Government and Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun visited the ROK. In June, the sixth High-level Strategic Dialogue between the Foreign Ministries of the two countries was held in Beijing. In December, the China-ROK Diplomatic and Security Dialogue was held in Beijing.
The level of economic and trade cooperation continued to rise. China remained the ROK's biggest trading partner, export market and source of import. The ROK was China's third largest trading partner. China was the ROK's biggest destination of foreign investment and the ROK was China's third largest source of foreign direct investment. The first phase of the negotiation for a China-ROK FTA agreement has been completed.
People-to-people exchanges became more dynamic. In November, the first meeting of the China-ROK People-to-People Exchanges Joint Committee was held in Seoul. In December, the first China-ROK Joint Strategic Dialogue between National Policy Research Institutions was held in Seoul. There were 47 regular passenger flight routes between the main cities of the two countries with more than 830 weekly flights. China was the ROK's biggest destination for overseas travels. There were 62,000 ROK students in China and 65,000 Chinese students in the ROK, making the two countries the biggest source of overseas students for each other. China has established 19 Confucius Institutes (18 of them have been officially launched) in the ROK and four Confucius Classrooms. ROK candidates who took the Chinese Proficiency Test accounted for more than half of the total number in the world and there were more candidates in the Korean Language Proficiency Test from China than from any other country.
In-depth local exchanges were carried out between the two countries. By the end of 2013, there were 153 pairs of friendship cities between the two countries.
China and the ROK further strengthened their cooperation in regional and international affairs. The two countries maintained communication and coordination on issues such as the situation on the Korean Peninsula, reform of the UN Security Council, regional cooperation in East Asia, G20 and climate change.