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Opposition leader to make China visit

Leader of the main opposition Democratic Party Sohn Hak―kyu is to set off for China on Monday to promote economic cooperation and ease political tensions in Northeast Asia, party officials said.

The trip is Sohn’s second since he took over the party’s chairmanship last October, closely following his visit to Japan late last month.

After meeting with Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping in Beijing on Monday afternoon, Sohn will meet with vice foreign minister Zang Zhizun to stress China’s crucial role in chairing the six-nation talks to end North Korea’s nuclear programs.

He is to urge China to step up efforts to improve the Korea-China relationship, which would contribute to peace in Northeast Asia, officials said.
Sohn Hak―kyu
Sohn Hak―kyu

Sohn will also ask China to support Korea in attracting the 2018 Winter Olympic Games to PyeongChang. Members of the International Olympic Committee will cast their ballots in Durban, South Africa, this Wednesday, to decide the host country for the event.

The DP leader will also pay visits to different economic strategic points and to local branches of Korean firms, officials said.

“The chairman’s visit to China indicates his commitment to the dual-line policy ― taking care of the people’s livelihood on a domestic level and promoting economic growth and peace on an international level,” said the party’s spokesperson.

“China’s cooperation is vital in solving Korea’s current growth and employment issues.”

Late last month, shortly after his highly anticipated talks with President Lee Myung-bak, Sohn flew to Tokyo for a three-day trip to meet his counterpart of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan, Yoshito Sengoku.

During the trip, the two party heads focused on measures to reinforce the energy supplies and also discussed the Fukushima nuclear crisis.

By Bae Hyun-jung (tellme@heraldcorp.com)
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