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Wen Jiabao and Han Duck-soo Attend the Opening Ceremony of the China-ROK Exchange Year

2007-04-10

On the evening of April 10, 2007, the series of activities of China-ROK Exchange Year unveiled its curtain at the National Theater of Korea in commemoration of the 15th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic tie between China and the Republic of Korea (ROK). Premier Wen Jiabao of the State Council of China and ROK Prime Minister Han Duck-soo attended and addressed the opening ceremony of the China-ROK Exchange Year. The heads of the two governments agreed that the exchanges of culture and trade have promoted the common development of the two countries and laid down a solid foundation for the friendliness between the two countries.

The National Theater of Korea was permeated with ardent and joyous atmosphere in the night. The huge national flags of China and ROK were hung above in the middle of the stage. The boats sailed between two countries against the waves in the vast seas displayed on the huge backcloth of the stage. In the center of the screen wall was the logo in commemoration of the China-ROK Exchange Year, which featured a design of auspicious clouds in traditional Chinese and ROK styles. The logo implies that the exchange between China and ROK is ever lasting and both sides march forward hand in hand and it also symbolizes a harmonious scenario that the two countries promote each other for common development.

Wen delivered an ardent speech amidst the warm applause. He said that the friendly exchange has always been the theme of China-ROK relationship. Today the goal of holding the China-ROK Exchange Year is to promote friendship, seek development, carry forward friendship and build a harmonious, prosperous and beautiful future through heart-to-heart communication. "I believe that this goal is to be achieved soon if both sides keep striding forward firmly for shared goals."

Wen said the exchanges between China and ROK has a long history, which started a few thousand years ago. The carriages shuttled on ancient roads between the two countries and the ships sailed back and forth in ancient times. The exchanges of culture and trade not only promoted the common development of the two countries, but also added a magnificent chapter in the history of ancient oriental civilization.

Wen pointed out that culture is like water that may moisten everything imperceptibly. The friendly exchange between China and ROK in the human and cultural field bears the profound friendship between the people and is the firm foundation of bilateral friendliness.

Wen expressed his warm congratulation for the opening of the China-ROK Exchange Year on behalf of the Chinese government. He pointed out that China and ROK are not only neighbors, but also friends and partners. Since the diplomatic relationship was established 15 years ago, the all-round exchange and cooperation between the two countries bears the common wish and arduous efforts of the two governments and people and has become an important guarantee for regional stability, prosperity and economic development.

Han said in his speech that ROK and China are geographically close, culturally similar and economically complementary. With such a good foundation, the bilateral relations in politics, culture and economy has experienced fast growth since the diplomatic relationship was established.

Han said China experienced the Korea Tide in media, fashion, film and TV industries while ROK felt the China Trend in education, overseas study and tourism, which indicates that the bilateral relationship has witnessed new progress both in terms of depth and broadness.

Han hoped that the China-ROK Exchange Year may leave a deep mark in the history of friendship and cooperation between ROK and China. He wished that the ROK-China Exchange Year may achieve fruitful results and the friendship between the two countries may last forever.

More than 1500 people including Wen and Han watched the performance of Chinese and Korean artists in celebration of the China-ROK Exchange Year. The opening ceremony of the performance consists of four sections: Welcome, Meeting, Exchange, and Celebration. The outstanding performance by the artists won waves of warm applause from the audience.

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