The 2019 ROK-China New Year's Conference was held at the Millennium Seoul Hilton Hotel on January 25.
The event provided an opportunity for the two countries' political leaders to usher in the beginning of the year together.
This year's meeting was jointly hosted by the Korea-China Leaders Society and the Chinese Embassy to the ROK. Several senior officials from both countries attended, including ROK National Assembly Speaker Moon Hee-sang, former Prime Minister Lee Soo-sung, Minister of the Interior and Safety Kim Boo-kyum and Chinese Ambassador to the ROK Qiu Guohong. A number of officials from the Chinese embassy, Chinese media correspondents, financial company executives and students were also in attendance.
Speaker Moon addressed the attendees, remarking that Korea and China have a long history of friendship, stretching back some 5,000 years. The two countries, he said, have much in common, including a long-standing interest in Confucianism. Both nations, he added, also make extensive use of Chinese characters. As mutual trading partners whose destiny is intertwined in many ways, the ROK and China should continue looking for new ways to cooperate, he said.
The speaker also echoed sentiments expressed by Xi Jinping during the Chinese President's New Year's speech. The president had recently remarked, We are facing a period of major change, the likes of which we have not seen for a century.
Speaker Moon said that this year was also important to the ROK, as the country was set to face huge changes and challenges.
The year 2019 marks the 100-year anniversary of Korea's March First Independence Movement, as well as of the establishment of the ROK's provisional government, said the speaker. Independence movements have played a key role in the history of both the ROK and China. These movements are a common source of pride for the people of both nations. The year 2019 is a watershed year for us. We will put an end to the history of the past 100 years and, at the same time, embark on our next 100-year journey.
The speaker also said that the ROK is standing at a major crossroads in its journey toward bringing peace to the Korean Peninsula. He cited the Chinese proverb, which means, Although the Yellow River bends tens of thousands of times, it eventually runs to the east. He opined that peace would come soon to the Korean Peninsula, and asked for China's cooperation in providing optimal conditions for peace and stability in both nations.
Source: The National Assembly of the Republic of Korea