China’s Li Keqiang to Visit South Korea Next Week

Posted October 19th, 2011 at 3:30 am (UTC-5)
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Officials say Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang will travel to Seoul next week on his first visit to South Korea since taking office in 2008.

South Korea's foreign ministry said Li will arrive October 26 for a two-day visit. The vice premier is widely expected to succeed Premier Wen Jiabao after a ruling party congress next year.

The ministry said Li will meet top government officials for talks on bilateral relations, relations between North and South Korea and cooperation in regional and global affairs. China and South Korea upgraded their relationship to a “strategic cooperative partnership” in 2008.

China and South Korea have an increasingly important trade relationship, while China is the most important backer of South Korea's arch-rival, North Korea.

China has been pressing through diplomatic channels for an early resumption of six-nation talks on North Korea's nuclear programs. Pyongyang is eager to resume the talks, but South Korea and the United States say it must first take steps to show its sincerity.