Chinese President Xi Jinping embarks on 2-day state visit to SeoulUpdated: 2014-07-03 13:56:07 (KST)
Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Seoul just over four hours ago for a two-day state visit.
President Park Geun-hye is scheduled to hold summit talks with him later this afternoon, after which the two leaders will release a joint statement, alongside a press conference.
For details, we have our presidential office correspondent Choi You-sun on the line.
President Xi Jinping and First Lady Peng Liyuan landed in Seoul just before lunchtime.
The South Korean presidential office is emphasizing that President Park and President Xi's special friendship was a key factor behind his state visit to Seoul.
It's the first time a Chinese leader is coming to South Korea before paying a visit to Beijing's traditional ally, North Korea, and neighboring Japan.
Presidents Park and Xi, who first met in 2005, have made strong impressions on each other, and since taking office last year, they have met four times.
The two presidents will meet for a summit later this afternoon, after which they'll hold a joint press conference.
Tomorrow, Friday, that is, President Xi will meet the National Assembly speaker, the prime minister, and also address hundreds of students at Seoul National University.
Presidents Park and Xi will also appeal to businessmen from both countries at an investors' forum.
And the Chinese first lady is scheduled to take part in a series of cultural events in the Korean capital.
You-sun, what key issues are expected to top the agenda for the talks between the two leaders?
President Xi's decision to visit Seoul first will put more pressure on Pyongyang to lay down its nuclear weapons and return to negotiations.
Now the question is exactly how the two leaders will deliver their positions in a joint statement following Thursday's summit.
Also topping the agenda for the talks will be Tokyo's retreat from a historical apology to Seoul and its attempts to expand its military presence.
Beijing, locked in a bitter territorial dispute with Tokyo, is expected to seek greater cooperation with Seoul on historical issues, but it's unlikely Presidents Park and Xi will specifically target Japan.
The amicable relations between Seoul and Beijing, and their mutual mistrust of Tokyo, is not a welcoming dynamic for Washington, which is looking to expand its influence in Asia.
On the economic front, the leaders of Korea and China will agree to speed up their FTA negotiations and set up a trade market for their respective currencies.
I'm Choi You-sun, reporting on Chinese President Xi Jinping's state visit to Seoul, and I'll be back with more details in our next newscast.
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