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Shanghai Expo opportunity to deepen ties between China, S Korea

2009. 14 May

( The upcoming 2010 Shanghai Wold Expo and a similar event in South Korea in 2012 will provide an opportunity for China and South Korea to expand communications, says a South Korean governor.

    "History has proven that as long as China and South Korea open their doors and embrace the ocean, the two countries will see the joint prosperity and further development of humanities exchanges," Park Joon-yung, governor of South Korea's Jeollanam Province, told Xinhua in a recent interview.

    Jeollanam Province, located in southwestern South Korea, has been a regional trade hub since the Tang Dynasty of China (618-907), the governor said.

    Yeosu, located in southern Jeollanam Province, will host a world expo in 2012.

    China and South Korea last year signed several agreements on expo cooperation in a bid to strengthen collaboration, share experiences and exchange information. Since then, the two countries have maintained close cooperation.

    Park, who has visited Shanghai and the expo site several times in recent years, said he was impressed by the preparations being done for the gathering.

    He praised the expo site, which stretches across the Huangpu River, as one "of symbolic significance, as almost all kinds of mankind civilization originated from rivers."

    "Shanghai is one of the international metropolises in the world. Its successful hosting of the world expo will be a historic opportunity for China to achieve a new boom of the country," Parksaid.

    The governor also recalled the age-old history of Chinese-Korean exchanges, citing the spread of Buddhism from China to the Korean Peninsula in 384 by monks who traveled to Jeollanam.

    He also recalled the flourishing maritime trade between China, Korea and Japan in the 9th Century.

    "The rapid growth of economic and trade contacts and non-governmental communications between the two countries after establishing diplomatic ties, benefited from the historical accumulation of cultural and economic exchanges," Park said.

    Park said the Shanghai Expo will show the world an open and confident China, while the 2012 Yeosu World Expo, with a theme of The Living Ocean and Coast, will demonstrate a bright future for the world's oceans.

    The governor said the two expos will advance bilateral cultural and economic exchanges, and boost the joint prosperity of China and South Korea.

    Jeollanam and China face each other across the Yellow Sea. The coastal province has convenient marine and air transportation and the local government is concentrating on strengthening cooperation with China, Park said.

    Park expressed good wishes for a complete success at the Shanghai World Expo, and hoped Yeosu Expo organizers would benefit from the experiences of their Chinese counterparts.