S Korea grants China market economy trade status

Seoul, Nov 16 | Updated: Nov 17 2005, 06:14am hrs
South Korea said on Wednesday it had granted Beijing market economy status, a move that will give China greater protection from anti-dumping duties on exports and another sign of warming ties between the two countries. I officially conveyed our governments decision to recognise Chinas position as a market economy status, President Roh Moo-hyun told a joint news conference with visiting Chinese Prsident Hu Jinta at the presidential Blue House in

Seoul.

Through this, I expect South Korea-China relations to develop a step higher, he said. Hus state visit the first by a Chinese president since 1995 and Seouls trade offer underlined the improvement in relations between the two countries, which were enemies until the early 1990s after China fought on the side of the North in the 1950-53 Korean War.

The two leaders also issued a joint statement urging all six parties in long-running negotiations aimed at ending North Koreas nuclear programmes to show flexibility. The leaders of all six except North Korea China, the United States, Japan, South Korea and Russia will be in the southern port city of Pusan on Friday and Saturday for a summit of the 21 leaders of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.

The six agreed at talks in September that North Korea would dismantle its nuclear weapons in return for economic and energy aid and better ties with Washington and Tokyo, but they made scant progress at subsequent negotiations last week.

Both sides shared the view that each of the parties must continue to show flexibility with sincerity and should implement the (agreement) and continue to make progress in the process, the joint statement said.

-Reuters