China to Accelerate Free Trade Agreement Talks with South Korea and Japan
kpopluv, March 7, 2015, 11:06 a.m.
Chinese Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng said Saturday that Beijing will "accelerate" negotiations this year with South Korea and Japan aimed at forging a three-way free trade agreement. Speaking at an annual press conference, Gao also reiterated that South Korea and China will spare no effort to formally sign a bilateral free trade agreement with South Korea.
"Based on the conclusion and signing of the China-Korea FTA this year, we will also move forward and accelerate China-Japan-Korea FTA negotiations," Gao said. After effectively concluding free trade negotiations last November, South Korea and China completed the "initialing" of the deal last month, marking one step closer to the official signing. Both sides voiced their hope to sign the deal within the first half of this year.
Gao described the free trade deal with South Korea as a "high-standard," saying it will significantly boost bilateral trade between the two nations. The annual press conference was held on the sidelines of China's National People's Congress, the country's rubber-stamp parliament controlled by the Communist Party.