Companies from the Republic of Korea are being welcomed in China, where a better business climate is being fashioned to further bilateral cooperation in emerging fields, including artificial intelligence and big data, Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli said on Wednesday.
Zhang noted the stance at the opening ceremony of the China-Republic of Korea Business Forum with visiting ROK President Moon Jae-in at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing.
Moon arrived in Beijing on Wednesday morning to start his four-day state visit to China and is scheduled to have talks with President Xi Jinping and other Chinese leaders.
Zhang called on both sides to strengthen the alignment of development strategies, boost economic cooperation to increase the quality and level of pragmatic exchanges and advance international cooperation and people-to-people exchanges.
Meeting earlier on Wednesday with Koreans living in Beijing, Moon said bilateral relations in political trust and security issues are not as good as in economic cooperation. He said he will make efforts to promote bilateral relations in other fields like economic ties without interference from outside factors.
Moon said both countries had been distressed by the invasion of imperial Japanese troops in the middle of the last century.
"Today is the 80th anniversary of the Nanjing Massacre, and Koreans can feel the pains the Chinese people had been through," Moon said at the opening ceremony.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries. China is the ROK's largest trading partner, largest export destination and largest source of imports.
Over the years, ROK investment in China totaled .7 billion by the end of 2016, making ROK China's fifth-largest source of foreign direct investment. China has invested .48 billion in the ROK.
However, the ROK's deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense missile defense system has obstructed bilateral relations and economic exchanges.
In late October, ROK Foreign Minister Kang Kyungwha pledged that the ROK would not add to the existing THAAD system, participate in the US-led missile defense system or develop the ROK-US-Japan military alliance.
Also at the forum were more than 500 businesspeople from fields such as infrastructure, e-commerce and automaking, all showing a strong spirit of entrepreneurship from both countries to deepen cooperation, said Jiang Zengwei, chairman of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade.