(East-West Question) Lu Zaixian: The establishment of diplomatic relations between South Korea and China has entered the "year of establishment", how can the relationship between the two countries be improved and upgraded?

  China News Agency, Seoul, March 14th: The establishment of diplomatic relations between South Korea and China has entered the "year of independence", how can the relationship between the two countries be improved and upgraded?

  ——Interview with Roh Jae-heon, son of former South Korean President Roh Tae-woo

  China News Agency reporter Liu Xu

  In 2022, China and South Korea will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations.

Over the past 30 years, China-ROK relations have developed rapidly, and exchanges and cooperation in various fields have yielded fruitful results, which not only brought tangible benefits to both sides, but also made positive contributions to regional and even world peace and stability.

Now, standing at a new starting point, how to push China-ROK relations to a new level has become a topic that both sides pay close attention to.

  Son of former South Korean President Roh Tae-woo, president of South Korea East Asian Cultural Center, and permanent chairman of the preparatory committee for the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between South Korea and China, Lu Jae-heon recently accepted an exclusive interview with China News Agency's "East-West Question" column, recalling his father's relationship with the South Korean president during his tenure. The history of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the expectation of the greater development of South Korea-China relations in the context of the new era.

In 2012, at the 19th Beijing International Book Fair, Korean staff introduced jigsaw puzzles for learning Korean to the audience.

Photo by China News Agency reporter Zhang Hao

The following is a summary of the interview transcript:

China News Service: Your father, former President Roh Tae-woo, facilitated the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and South Korea during his tenure. Did former President Roh Tae-woo tell the past about the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and South Korea, or stories related to China?

Lu Zaixian:

As we all know, South Korea and China celebrate the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations this year.

The establishment of diplomatic relations between South Korea and China in 1992 was a significant decision for both of us.

At that time, I was still young, and later I heard some content from my father, and I also read relevant materials, and learned that the whole process of establishing diplomatic relations between Korea and China was very difficult.

  Although South Korea and China formally established diplomatic relations on August 24, 1992, prior to that, the two sides had never stopped communicating in public or private.

On July 7, 1988, the father of the then President of South Korea issued the "Special Presidential Statement on National Self-esteem, Unity and Prosperity", namely the "July 7 Declaration". I think the most important content of which is to actively promote and improve social This expression effectively promoted South Korea's "Northern Policy" afterward.

The establishment of diplomatic relations between South Korea and China in 1992 was an important achievement driven by this series of policies.

  In addition, I would like to introduce my personal family background. About a hundred years ago, my ancestor Lu Jia lived in Shandong Province, China, and then moved to the (Korean) peninsula.

Because of this, my father has a sense of closeness to China, and the geographical location is very close. Shandong Province and South Korea are across the sea. There is even a saying that "the crowing of chickens can be heard in the morning" to express the geographical location. In addition to the similarity in history and culture, as well as the history of maintaining friendly relations between the two countries for thousands of years, he very much hopes that the relations between the two countries can be restored as soon as possible.

During this period, (my father) not only kept in touch with China, but also told the story of China, including its culture and traditions, to Western countries who misread China, persuading them not to think about China's problems only from the perspective of the West .

It can be said that the establishment of diplomatic relations between South Korea and China is the result of victory for the people of the two countries overcoming many difficulties. The amazing development of the two countries after that has also made me feel the value and significance of the establishment of diplomatic relations.

  When my father was in office, he always attached great importance to the relationship between South Korea and China, and now I am also working hard to further expand the exchanges between South Korea and China.

My father contributed to the establishment of diplomatic relations between South Korea and China, and I will do my best to make this relationship closer and stronger.

In 2015, the Chinese Embassy in South Korea held a reception in Seoul to celebrate the 66th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.

Photo by China News Agency reporter Wu Xu

China News Service reporter: We often say "30 years of standing". How do you evaluate China-ROK relations after 30 years, and what areas will the future development of China-ROK relations focus on?

Lu Zaixian:

As you said, "I stand at 30 years", we can think about it from many perspectives in the past 30 years. We can say "It's been 30 years" or "It's only 30 years."

No matter what dimension you look at, 30 years have passed, and South Korea and China have undergone tremendous changes. China has become the world's second largest economy, and South Korea has also moved from a poor country to a developed country.

Over the past 30 years, South Korea and China have influenced and helped each other. We should be proud of this. While acknowledging our own development, we should also affirm each other's successful development.

  Looking back at the past 30 years, the exchanges between countries around the world are unprecedented, and the exchanges between South Korea and China are obvious to all.

In terms of trade volume and investment, there are specific values ​​to prove it.

The development of South Korea and China in the past 30 years coincides with the period of China's reform and opening up, and also the period when South Korea has entered a developed country.

How should our relationship go in the next 30 years and the next 30 years?

For this part, we are currently thinking carefully in all aspects, carefully analyzing the current situation, and formulating future strategies.

  In the context of the new era, there will be new challenges, and I think these are all necessary lessons in the process of inter-country development.

We should think about how to meet the challenges and how to build new partnerships to go forward.

But no matter from which dimension we analyze, we will find that in the future, South Korea and China can only choose cooperation.

In my opinion, the most important thing for ROK-China cooperation is people-to-people bonds. How to continue to maintain mutual trust and respect so that it will not be shaken by the actual situation is a topic that we should discuss together.

In 2018, the sixth "Seoul China Day" was held in Seoul.

The picture shows young students from China and South Korea riding together in downtown Seoul.

Photo by China News Agency reporter Zeng Nai

China News Service: How to promote friendly exchanges between the youth of China and South Korea has been a topic of concern for some time.

Do you have any suggestion for this please?

Lu Zaixian:

Young people are very enthusiastic and very open groups, and the potential for tolerance and acceptance is actually great. More importantly, young people are the mainstay of the future construction of the cooperative relationship between South Korea and China, and they understand each other. And the basis for cooperation is particularly important.

  Affected by the epidemic, the current ROK-China people-to-people and cultural exchanges have been severely reduced compared to before the epidemic, which hindered everyone's exchanges to a certain extent.

But we also have the support of modern technology. For example, we can consider gathering young people from Korea and China through virtual spaces such as "Metaverse", providing them with a platform for open communication and promoting the establishment of a constructive cooperative relationship.

  Looking back on the world's cultural industry in the past 100 years, it is not an exaggeration to say that it was dominated by the West, but gradually, the trend of culture is moving towards Asia and the East. Phenomenon.

So in times like these, can we consider trying to develop a common "One Asia" culture?

  Take Korea and China as an example, the "Korean Wave" culture was very popular at one time, and China also has its own "Hua Liu". Why can't we create the "Asian Wave" together and blaze a path of cultural commonality?

This creates a fusion culture that can play a role in the world as our Asian brand, allowing the world to see the beauty of Asia's tradition and modernity, and in the process explore opportunities for cooperation between Korea and China.

  Therefore, I think South Korea and China should join hands to think about what role we can play in the world's cultural field, and how Asian culture can find its own position and characteristics. This is something that should be created by our joint efforts. of a subject.

I always believe that one day, South Korea and China can also create their own media platforms like "Netflix" and lead the trend of the global cultural industry together.

In 2012, to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and South Korea, the China-Korea Friendship Week - China-Korea Cultural Exchange Night theatrical performance was held in Beijing.

Korean fashion designer Kim Hye-soon brought a Korean court fashion show on the spot, allowing Chinese audiences to have a close understanding of Korean traditional costume culture.

Photo by China News Agency reporter Jia Tianyong

China News Agency reporter: You are currently the chairman of the preparatory committee for the 30th anniversary of South Korea and China. What areas will you focus on to commemorate the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and South Korea?

Lu Zaixian:

I just mentioned that in the past 30 years, South Korea-China cooperation has achieved great results in terms of quantity.

On this basis, I think we should focus on qualitative growth.

It is with this expectation that we lay the foundation for the next 30 years.

  First of all, we can take the opportunity of the 30th anniversary to sort out the past of Korea-China cooperation, and use this as an opportunity to formulate the principles and framework for future cooperation between the two countries.

After all, the background of the times is very different from that of 30 years ago. The national strength of the two countries is much stronger than that of 30 years ago, and the international situation has also changed. Therefore, we should sort out the past and face the future with a constructive attitude.

  On this basis, we will focus on the younger generation, because the future relationship between the two countries will mainly depend on the youth, especially in the fourth industrial revolution and new platforms such as the Metaverse. They are the generation that adapts and creates. In order to achieve mutual understanding and respect among the people of the country, cultural exchanges and cooperation among young people are also needed.

Therefore, we have launched a youth group activity called "Asia Leaders Club" to fully promote the three countries of Korea, China and Japan to jointly create Asian culture for the development of Asia.

In 2021, the "Looking for the Taste Bud Memory of "Hometown"" hometown food appointment event will be held in Shaoxing, Zhejiang. Food lovers and chefs from China, Japan and South Korea will learn to cook Shaoxing dishes written by Lu Xun and experience Chinese food culture.

Photo by China News Agency reporter Wang Gang

  In addition, the current international situation has undergone great changes, but after all, countries will develop towards multilateralism. The role of China and South Korea will become more and more important, and the role of Asia will become more and more important. In the new international situation, we It is also a very important issue how to transcend the purely bilateral relationship and play the leadership of joint cooperation.

To this end, there are also some discussions on how South Korea, China and Japan can jointly exert leadership on common and universal topics faced by mankind, such as environmental hotspot issues and epidemic issues.

On January 27, 2022, a citizen appreciates the "Passion Together, Towards the Future Together - China-Korea Winter Olympics Exchange Exhibition" held here at the Korean Cultural Center in Beijing.

The exhibition was held in Beijing and Seoul, the capital of South Korea, and displayed the moments of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea and the preparations for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing through more than 60 photo works.

Photo by China News Agency reporter Hou Yu

  A few days ago, the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics and Winter Paralympics came to a successful conclusion.

From the perspective of Asia, in the past four years, the Olympic torch has been lit from Pyeongchang, passed through Tokyo, and finally arrived in Beijing. This series of cross-era events contains special significance.

Not only China, but the whole of Asia and the whole world are proud of this.

And this is not only a pure sports event, but also a good time to hold various cultural events.

Although now due to the restrictions of the new crown epidemic, we have to prepare and record various activities online, but I believe that under the friendly atmosphere of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between South Korea and China, the exchanges between South Korea and China can be more friendly. Go ahead and bear more fruit in the future.

(over)

Interviewee Profile:

  Roh Jae-heon, the son of former South Korean President Roh Tae-woo, is currently the director of the Korea-East Asia Cultural Center and the permanent chairman of the preparatory committee for the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Korea and China.

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