South Korean president visits China

CNC report from Beijing
Added On June 28, 2013

South Korean President Park Geun-hye has started a four-day visit to China.

Coming months after both countries saw leadership change, the visit is expected to open a new chapter in bilateral relations.

Park Geun-hye arrived in Beijing on Thursday morning, kicking off her first state visit to China since taking office in February.

Besides holding talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Park will also meet with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and top legislator Zhang Dejiang.
  
The two sides will exchange views on bilateral ties and major international and regional issues of common concern.

STANDUP: DEVIN WHITING, CNC correspondent
"Here with President Park are 71 economic envoys, including the chairman of the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Sohn kyung-shik,  and Lotte Group Chairman Shin Dong-bin. The delegation has 20 more people than the group President Park took to the U.S. last month, and it's believed to be the biggest in Korean history."

Since the two neighbors established diplomatic ties in 1992, they have seen sustained progress in their overall relationship, particularly in economic interactions.
  
China has been South Korea's largest trading partner for years and is  also a major destination of South Korean investment and a primary source of foreign tourists.
  
According to Chinese official statistics, annual trade between China and South Korea have increased almost 50 times and reached 256 billion U.S. dollars in 2012.

And it's expected to grow further as the two countries are working on a free trade area agreement.

Besides Beijing, Park will visit Xi'an, capital of Shaanxi Province in northwest China.