China and the Republic of Korea should make full use of the cooperation system for disease control and the "fast-track" arrangement to serve the economic growth of both nations, President Xi Jinping said on Tuesday.
Xi made the remark in a phone call with ROK President Moon Jae-in. He also spoke by phone with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko on Tuesday.
The growth of China-ROK trade under difficult circumstances last year demonstrated the great potential of China-ROK cooperation, Xi said, adding that the two nations should implement their consensus to expand mutually beneficial cooperation.
They should accelerate negotiations on the second stage of the China-ROK free trade agreement, promote implementation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership and build the China-ROK free trade zone at a faster pace, Xi said.
Facing changes from the COVID-19 pandemic, China and the ROK have set a model of joint disease prevention and control through effective institutional arrangements, Xi said. In May, China began "fast-track" entry systems with the ROK to facilitate essential travel, such as for business.
Noting that next year marks the 30th anniversary of China-ROK diplomatic relations, Xi said the development of bilateral ties is facing new opportunities and he would like to announce the start of the Year of China-ROK Cultural Exchanges together with the ROK president.
Moon congratulated Xi on the upcoming 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China, saying that under the leadership of Xi, China has become the first major economy to register positive economic growth amid the pandemic.
The ROK would like to deepen cooperation with China on disease prevention and control, economy and trade, culture and education, Moon said.
In the conversation with Lukashenko, Xi said that China supports Belarus' developing on a path that fits its own situation.
China hopes Belarus maintains political stability and social tranquillity, Xi said, adding that China would like to offer help for the economic and social development of Belarus within its capacity.
The two nations should promote the high-quality development of Belt and Road projects, push forward construction of the China-Belarus industrial park and expand cooperation in more areas, Xi said.
Belarus resolutely supports China's stance on its core interests, including Hong Kong, Taiwan and Xinjiang affairs, Lukashenko said, adding that all external interference should be firmly opposed.