[EDITORIALS]Study China, Mr. RohPresident Roh Moo-hyun will make a state visit to China on Monday. The visit is particularly important because the two leaders are meeting for the first time after new administrations were installed in both countries. Mr. Roh and Chinese President Hu Jintao should confirm the two countries’ friendship and establish a foundation to achieve peace and prosperity in Northeast Asia.
The most urgent issue is agreeing on a constructive and active role for China in resolving the North Korean nuclear situation peacefully. In the long term, the two leaders should agree to build a systematic framework in which their countries cooperate each other as partners to further develop the peninsula and Northeast Asia after the nuclear crisis is resolved.
Korea and China share a long history of relations. But, there was a period of hostility from the Korean War until the two countries normalized their relations in 1992. Despite such bitter memories, the two countries quickly restored their partnership because of their interdependence and desire to recover the thousands of years’ friendship and overcome the ideological confrontation. South Korea and China, indeed, became each other’s third-largest trade partners and popular tourist destinations for people from the other country since normalization. South Korea invested $10.9 billion in China since 1988, ranking second on China’s list of foreign investors after the United States.
We urge President Roh to study the economic development of China during his visit. He should study how China was able to grow fast as a factory for the world and why global capital rushed toward the Chinese market. Mr. Roh must study in which sectors South Korean industries could be competitive against China.
We hope that his tour to Pudong will intimidate Mr. Roh into worrying about the Korean economy’s future. We still have hope, though, if Mr. Roh returns to Korea with reflections on our current situation of endless labor disputes after he tours the dynamic economy of China.