Park-Chinese president

SEOUL, March 26 (Yonhap) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping recently sent a personal letter to South Korean President Park Geun-hye, expressing hope that the two nations will further strengthen their ties, the South Korean presidential office said Tuesday.

In the letter, Xi also suggested the two leaders hold a summit meeting in the near future, saying he looks forward to making a "beautiful blueprint" for their countries' relations, according to the office.

The Chinese president noted that the ties between two countries have developed rapidly and led to large achievements across all sectors since they established diplomatic relations, the office said. He also said these developments brought real benefits to the people of both nations and contributed to regional and world peace and prosperity,

"I wish to make the people of both nations happier and promote peace and stability in the region by working together to further strengthen and deepen the strategic cooperative partnership between China and South Korea," the office quoted Xi as saying in the letter.

Recalling his meeting with Park in Seoul in 2005, the Chinese president said he still has vivid memories of the meeting and expressed his wish to deepen both their professional relationship and personal friendship, the office said.

In a phone call last week, Park asked Xi to help persuade North Korea to return to dialogue, saying Seoul intends to improve frayed inter-Korean ties if Pyongyang makes the right decision.

Ties between Seoul and Beijing have strengthened since they forged diplomatic relations in 1992, with China overtaking the United States as South Korea's No. 1 trading partner. But disagreement over how to deal with North Korea has often weighed on their relations.

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